Tag Archives: editor

FastStone Image Viewer – Browser, Converter and Editor – Supports All Major Graphic Formats (and then some)!

FastStone Image Viewer (updated November, 2009), is one of my favorite photo applications, with good reason. It’s not just a viewer, but an image browser, converter, and an editor as well. You’ll find the interface intuitive and very easy to use.

This program is loaded with features including, renaming, cropping, color adjustments, lossless JPEG transformation, drop shadow effects, image frames, scanner support, histogram and much more.

image

With FastStone installed you’ll have support for all major graphic formats including (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF and DNG).

image image

Quick Facts:

True Full Screen viewer with image zoom support and unique fly-out menu panels

Crystal-clear and customizable one-click image magnifier

Superior Red-Eye effect removal/reduction with completely natural looking end result

Image modification tools: Resize/resample, rotate/flip, crop, sharpen/blur, brightness/contrast, etc.

Eleven resampling algorithms to choose from when resizing images

Image color effects: gray scale, sepia, negative, Red/Green/Blue adjustment

Image special effects: watermark, annotation, drop shadow, framing, bump map, lens, morph, waves

Draw texts, lines, highlights, rectangles, ovals and callout objects on images

Multi-level Undo/Redo capability

One-touch best fit/actual size image display support

Image management, including tagging capability, with drag-and-drop and Copy To/Move To Folder support

Histogram display with color counter feature

Compare images side-by-side (up to 4 at a time) to easily cull those forgettable shots

Image EXIF metadata support (plus comment editing for JPEGs)

Configurable batch processing to convert/rename large or small collections of images

Slideshow creation with 150+ transition effects and music support (MP3, WMA, WAV…)

Create efficient image attachment(s) for emailing to family and friends

Print images with full page-layout control

Create fully configurable Contact Sheets – just like the pros (and save $$$ on ink)

Create memorable artistic image montages from your family photos for personalized desktop wallpapers (Wallpaper Anywhere)

Acquire images from a scanner

Versatile screen capture capability

Powerful Save As interface to compare image quality and control generated file size

Run favorite programs with one keystroke from within Image Viewer

Offer portable version of the program which can be run from a removable storage device

Configurable mouse wheel support

Support multiple program skins

Support dual-monitor configurations

System requirements: 32 bit Windows – XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

Download at: Download.com

This really is an incredible application and I often wonder why it’s still free. The author does ask for a donation, if you find the application useful. This is an application that’s worth supporting so please, consider doing so.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

6 Comments

Filed under Digital Media, downloads, Free Photo Applications, Freeware, Graphic Software, Image Editors, Multimedia Tools, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Weebly – Powerful, Free, Website Creator

If 2010 is the year you’ve decided to create and host your own website for personal, or business reasons, then you’ll be impressed with what Weebly, a free Web site builder and hosting service, has to offer.

Sure there are more than a few sites on the Internet that offer similar free services, but frankly; most of them suck. Who needs a website that looks like it was created with an old version of MS FrontPage? Who needs a website so filled with advertising that your page content loses focus?

Instead, you need a website that looks highly professional and polished. A website where you control the advertising – assuming, that in fact, you want advertising on the site.

image

With Weebly you control virtually every essential aspect of site design – and built-in integration with Google AdSense, allows you to deliver text and image ads that are specific to your site and your site content, if you choose.

The best part? With this free package you can turn out an attractive and effective web site without the need for any complex HTML, or other programming skills.

Using any one of the 70+ professional templates, WYSWYG (What You See Is What You Get) design tools, and your drag and drop skills, absolutely everyone (regardless of age or education level), can build a professional, and attractive website without having any previous experience.

If you’re looking to create that first web site using a WYSIWYG visual web page creator, and you want to do it for free, including web hosting, then this free service from Weebly will fill the bill admirably.

Fast facts:

Powerful, Drag & Drop Website Editor – Easy drag & drop website editor. Videos, pictures, maps, and text are added by simply dragging them to your website – no HTML or technical skills required!

Free – It is completely free to create and publish a website with Weebly. You can opt to buy a pro account upgrade for a small fee, or purchase your own domain, but our free service is and will remain 100% feature packed.

Hosting Included – No Restrictions. No arbitrary bandwidth restrictions, storage caps or limits on the number of pages allowed, either.

70+ Professional Designs (or Customize Your Own) – You can completely customize the template of your site, or build your own with HTML & CSS, right in the Weebly editor.

A Variety of Content Elements. – If you can imagine it, you can do it with Weebly. Add pictures, videos, music and audio, documents, maps, and photo galleries. Sell products, accept online bookings, create a contact form, or arrange your pages in multiple columns. Drag on slideshows, files, forums, games, RSS feeds, or any other HTML embed code — all by simply dragging and dropping.

Powerful Blogging Features – Weebly supports an unlimited number of blogs within your website, with full comment moderation features allowing an open, moderated, or closed conversation.

No Advertising – We don’t place advertising on your site, and never will. But, we’ve integrated with Google AdSense to allow you to easily enable advertising – as simple as entering your email address – letting you earn money from your site!

Publish to Your Own Domain – If you already own your own domain, use it with Weebly, at no charge. You can publish to your own domain name (ie. http://www.example.com instead of example.weebly.com) and we’ll still host your website for free.

Sign up at: Weebly

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

9 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Interconnectivity, Living Life, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Web Development, Windows Tips and Tools

A Seriously Advanced Photo Tool – Free Image Analyzer 1.31

 

image In the days of film cameras, what you shot was what you got. You took your film, had it developed and that, was that. Unless of course, you were one of the few photo hobbyists who had the equipment, and the skills, to manipulate and improve captured images.

The development of the digital camera has changed all that. Today, you are not necessarily stuck with what you shot. The tech world is full, to overflowing, with photo applications; from low end programs with few capabilities to very high end commercial programs with countless editing capabilities. And from complex applications with high learning curves, to dead simple applications with a point and click interface.

Back in my High School days, I was lucky enough to be hired by a news photographer who taught me camera skills, film development and printing techniques, which have stayed with me. So much so, that even now, I use my camera virtually every day (seriously).

If you’re like me, and you consider yourself a geeky photographer, then Image Analyzer 1.31 (latest release – September 22, 2009), could be just the program you’ve been searching for. This small (1.24MB), free, advanced, feature-rich image editor, comes complete with serious enhancement and analytical tools.

While the program includes all the usual features found in most photo editing tools, such as red-eye removal, resizing, rotating, image cropping, image warping, scanner, camera and printer support, the advanced features would generally be used only by sophisticated users, or professional photographers.

For example, this program excels at a number of higher level tasks including refocusing an out of focus image. As well, using the fractal interpolation plug-in for resizing, even low resolution images can be printed at larger sizes with acceptable quality.

Fast facts:

Automatic brightness, contrast, gamma and saturation adjustment

Build-in conventional and adaptive filters for noise reduction, edge extraction etc.

Retouch tools

Retinex filter for reducing shadows and increasing local contrast

Deconvolution for out-of-focus and motion blur compensation (see below)

Easy red-eye removal

User specified filters in spatial and frequency domain

Resize, rotate, crop and warping of images

Scanner, camera and printer support

File format support:
Read/write BMP, ICO, CUR, WMF, EMF, PNG, MNG, GIF, PCX, JPEG and JPEG 2000 images
Read CR2, RAS, PNM, PGM, PPM, HIPS and Matlab files

Morphological operations

Color model conversion: RGB, CMY, HSI, Lab, YCbCr, YIQ and PCA

Distance, Fourier and discrete cosine transformation

Math expression module for creating and transforming images and advanced “pocket” calculator with equation solver

Plug-in system for adding more specialized features.

image

Available Plug-ins:

Combine for High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Microscopic imaging

3D modeling

Batch processing

Fractal interpolation

Add text and vector graphics

Raster Export

JPEG 2000 file format handler

TIFF file format handler

Profile line

PCA Color Stretch

8fb Plug-in Interface

Developers’ information

Requirements: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows NT, Windows 98

Language pack: Danish, Dutch, French, Finnish, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian

There is no tech support for this free application but there is an active forum.

Recommendation: This is a  terrific free program for those those who are familiar with, or interested in, the more technical aspects of image analysis/processing. Considering the high end abilities of this application, it is surprising that it is freeware.

Download at: Download.com

There are additional free graphic software reviews elsewhere on this Blog, including download links. Check out the category Graphic Software on the sidebar.

 

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

2 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Image Editors, Photo Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Fix Disk Errors And More With Free Disk Heal

image So you’ve finally managed to get rid of that nasty piece of malware that’s been causing you all sorts of grief – your anti-malware application has come to the rescue.

But now you’re left with another problem; a problem which can be equally as aggravating.

We’ve all heard the horror stories where the user was left to deal with the following problems after successfully removing an infection.

Drive inaccessibility

Task Manager inaccessibility

Folder Options inaccessibility

Registry Editor inaccessibility

Scary stuff to be sure, but you don’t have to be a Techno Geek to deal with these types of problems. Even though, for the casual or new user, a manual solution may be outside their technical abilities, there is a great newbie tool which offers a free solution.

Disk Heal is a free Windows NT, 2000, XP and Vista utility that may be able to restore the condition of your Hard Drive, or a USB Flash Drive, after it has been being infected by a virus.

image

Disk Heal is a great free tool that has a host of additional capabilities, including recovering hidden files and performing system tweaks, The simple interface makes it easy to access these additional functions, with with just one click.

Quick facts:

Fixes disk problems

Fixes task manager inaccessibility

Fixes folder options inaccessibility

Fixes registry editor inaccessibility

Recovers hidden files and folders

Changes the default icon of any drive, external, internal, or a partition

Security and system tweaks

As you’re building your toolbox of system utilities, this is a good application to add. None of us are immune to a virus infection, and at some point you’ll be glad you had this little tool ready to go.

System requirements: Windows NT, 2000, XP and Vista

Download at: Download.com

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

1 Comment

Filed under computer repair, Freeware, Hard Drive Problems, New Computer User Software Tools, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Stretch Your Software Dollars – 26 Free Applications For Hard Economic Times

image

Times are tough, the economy is in the tank, and if anything, times will get much tougher long before they get better.

We are all now faced with the task of trimming expenses this year, and software applications that cost hundreds of dollars are not going to be number one on our list of must haves.

Luckily, they don’t need to be.

There’s a wealth of tried and tested free software out in the wild blue of the Internet that will meet virtually every need you’re likely to have this year. Take a look at the following recommended free downloads that will help you communicate, get needed work done, have some fun, and manage and protect your system while you’re surfing the Internet.

To download the application/s of your choice, simply click on the application name.

Process those words:

OpenOffice:

OpenOffice 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages including Microsoft Word.

AbiWord:

AbiWord is a free light weight word processing program similar to Microsoft Word. It is suitable for a wide variety of word processing tasks.

WordWeb:

WordWeb is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows that can look up words in almost any program. It works off-line, but can also look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

Manipulate and correct your pics – put them online:

FastStone Image Viewer:

This is one of my favorite photo applications, with good reason. It’s not just a viewer, but an image browser, converter, and an editor as well. You’ll find the interface intuitive and very easy to use. This program is loaded with features including, renaming, cropping, color adjustments, lossless JPEG transformation, drop shadow effects, image frames, scanner support, histogram and much more.

IrfanView:

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative graphic viewer for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista. Unusual name – terrific application.

Google Picasa:

A free software application that helps you locate and organize all the photos on your computer, edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks and share your photos with others through email, prints and on the web.

Play those tunes:

Audacity:

Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Definitely the best of breed.

iTunes:

According to Apple this is the world’s best digital music jukebox. Download music, TV shows, movies, and more.

Winamp:

A multimedia player that supports numerous audio and video formats. It also plays streamed video and audio content, live and recorded, authored worldwide.

Watch your favorite videos:

Miro:

Miro is a free application for channels of internet video (also known as ‘video podcasts and video rss). Miro is designed to be easy to use and to give you an elegant full screen viewing experience.

VLC:

A highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

Free FLV Converter:

This free software let you search YouTube and dailyMotion videos without opening your browser and you can even watch the videos using the built-in video player.

Free Video To iPhone Converter:

Convert video files to Apple iPhone MP4 video format. Convert the whole movie or select a partition from the movie to convert (trim video).

iPod Video Converter:

Free iPod Video Converter provides an easy and completed way to convert all popular video formats to iPod video.

Better browsing:

FireFox:

FireFox includes tons of useful features such as tabbed browsing, built-in and customizable search bars, a built-in RSS reader and a huge library of extensions developed by thousand of developers.

Opera:

Opera introduces Speed Dial which vastly improves navigation to your favorite sites. In addition, there’s Fraud protection, anti-phishing detection keeps browsing safe and secure.

Web of Trust (WOT):

WOT is a free Internet Browser add-on (my personal favorite), that has established an impressive 4.5/5.0 star user rating on CNET. WOT tests web sites you are visiting for spyware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, unreliable online shops, phishing, and online scams, helping you avoid unsafe web sites.

Protect your system:

Spyware Doctor Starter Edition:

This free version of the award winning program, with its easy to use interface, is used by millions of people worldwide to protect their computers; it’s reported there are a million+ additional downloads every week.

AVG Anti-Virus:

AVG Anti-Virus Free now incorporates protection against spyware through a new combined anti-virus and anti-spyware engine as well as a “safe-searching component” which has been incorporated into the new AVG Internet Security Toolbar. This program scans files on access, on demand, and on schedule and scans email incoming and outgoing. For those on Vista, you’re in luck, it’s Vista-ready

Comodo Firewall Pro:

The definitive free firewall, Comodo Firewall protects your system by defeating hackers and restricting unauthorized programs from accessing the Internet. I have been using this application for 10 months and I continue to feel very secure. It resists being forcibly terminated and it works as well, or better, than any firewall I’ve paid for. This is one I highly recommend. Amazing that it’s free!

Staying in touch:

Windows Live messenger:

The next generation MSN Messenger. It comes with everything that were already available in Messenger, and a new i’m Initiative that makes helping your favorite charity as easy as sending an instant message.

Pidgin:

A multi-protocol Instant Messaging client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once. Pidgin can work with: AIM, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Yahoo!, MySpaceIM and many more.

Trillian:

A fully featured, stand-alone, skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC.

System Tools:

CCleaner:

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a second to run.

Glary Utilities:

Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application for the last 8 months has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system. With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

Revo Uninstaller:

Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over (those “orphaned” registry entries we talked about earlier), on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

7 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Audio Software, Browser add-ons, Browsers, Don't Get Hacked, Firefox, Free Firewalls, Freeware, Graphic Software, High Definition Video Players, Image Editors, MS Word Alternatives, Photo Tools, Software, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free FastStone Image Viewer – Stands Up to XNView and Irfanview

FastStone Image Viewer is one of my favorite photo applications, with good reason. It’s not just a viewer, but an image browser, converter, and an editor as well. You’ll find the interface intuitive and very easy to use.

This program is loaded with features including, renaming, cropping, color adjustments, lossless JPEG transformation, drop shadow effects, image frames, scanner support, histogram and much more.

image

With FastStone installed you’ll have support for all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA.

Quick Facts:

Windows Explorer-like user interface

Supports popular image formats

Full Screen viewer with image zoom support and unique fly-out menu panels

One-click image magnifier

Red-Eye removal/reduction

Resize/resample, rotate/flip, crop, sharpen/blur, brightness/contrast, etc.

Image color effects: gray scale, sepia, negative, Red/Green/Blue adjustment

Image special effects: watermark, annotation, drop shadow, framing, bump map, lens, morph, waves

Multi-level Undo/Redo capability

Acquire images from a scanner

Screen capture capability

A no-install, fully portable version, can be run from a removable storage device

Latest Version 3.5 – January 15/2008

FastStone Image Viewer includes two versions in one installation:

Standard Edition – Free for private or educational use.

Professional (Pro) Edition – Registration required.

Download at: Download.com

This article is a followup to an earlier review of this application in April, 2008.

3 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Graphic Software, Image Editors, Photo Tools, Software, USB, Windows Tips and Tools

Repair Drives, Files, Folders with Free Disk Heal

While it’s true that most anti-malware applications will remove an executable malware file from your system, depending on the infection, it is not uncommon that it will be unable to reverse the damage already done.

In many cases the user will be left to deal with the following problems.

Drive inaccessibility

Task Manager inaccessibility

Folder Options inaccessibility

Registry Editor inaccessibility

It’s not necessary to be a Techno Geek to deal with these types of problems; there are a number of manual methods to resolve these issues. But for the casual or new computer user, the solution may be outside their technical abilities. Fortunately, there is a free solution that is new user friendly.

Disk Heal is a free Windows NT, 2000, XP and Vista utility that may be able to restore the condition of your Hard Drive, or a USB Flash Drive, after it has been being infected by a virus.

This free application is a very useful tool that has a host of additional capabilities, including recovering hidden files and performing system tweaks; all can be accessed with just one click.

Quick facts:

Fixes disk problems

Fixes task manager inaccessibility

Fixes folder options inaccessibility

Fixes registry editor inaccessibility

Recovers hidden files and folders

Changes the default icon of any drive, external, internal, or a partition

Security and system tweaks

As you’re building your toolbox of system utilities, this is a good application to add. None of us are immune to a virus infection, and at some point you’ll be glad you had this little tool ready to go.

Download at: Download.com

Comments Off on Repair Drives, Files, Folders with Free Disk Heal

Filed under Disk Cleaners, Freeware, Hard Drive Problems, Slow Computer, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Utilities, Virus Repair Tools, Windows Tips and Tools