Tag Archives: screen

Take Advantage Of Your High Def Computer Display With Slickscreen

It’s always seemed to me that there’s not much point in having a wide screen LCD display when surfing the Net – not when I have a ton of wasted space on either side of the web page I’m viewing.

Here’s what I mean:

In this screen shot (click to expand), I’ve got Internet Explorer open on a 22 inch monitor set at 1680×1050  – notice the amount of wasted screen real estate on either side of the Web page.

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So, for the past few days I’ve been testing Slickscreen – an Internet Browser which takes advantage of high resolution displays by dividing the screen into separate windows.

In the following screen capture (click to expand), you’ll notice that I have three Web sites open – plus a running application (Windows Live Writer), which I’m using to write this post.

In fact, you can even run your regular Browser inside Slickscreen, if you wish, so that you have access to your personal configuration specific to that Browser.

image

The bad news (sort of):

The configuration options in the free version are far too restrictive in my view. At least two selectable startup web sites would be more appropriate, so that the full value of the application can be properly assessed.

image

Having to deal with the developer’s pre-selected sites, and then having to manually gain access to my sites, is less than ideal. Actually, it’s annoying as hell.

Click on graphic to expand to the original.

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Fast facts (pro version):

  • Maximize your screen real estate with Slickscreen’s unique non-overlapping interface.
  • Capture Windows applications into our unique interface.
  • Compare and work with web sites side by side with ease.
  • Save multi-panel layouts, Slickscreen’s multi-panel bookmarks.
  • Drag and drop links from one panel to another for the ultimate in web productivity.
  • New:  Every Slickscreen panel can add ‘traditional’ web browsing ‘tabs’.
  • Leverages Microsoft’s Internet Explorer rendering engine for performance, privacy and security.
  • Lightweight – We keep it simple for fast web browsing.
  • Integrates – doesn’t try to replace – your default browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer)
  • Panels can auto-refresh and auto-rotate at user defined intervals.  A great solution for corporate lobbies, break rooms or operational dashboards (requires a corporate license to use).
  • Skins:  Customize the look and feel.
  • Hosted on Amazon.com cloud infrastructure.  Get Updates fast and reliably.
  • No advertisements.  We don’t do ad-ware at Slickscreen.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 Client Profile – installed automatically if not present).

Download at: Developer’s site

User comments at CNET:

Pros: – Simple Download
– Great user preferences
– Drag and Drop features
– See multiple applications in 1 interface

Cons: – Some applications may function differently in Slickscreen

Pros: The ability to have VLC player, Outlook, Facebook and a work window, all in one interface is very helpful.

Cons: The new App Capture feature is a little glitchy at times. Understandable I suppose because.

Summary: Very nice application. Free version gives you more than enough functionality.

Pros: Ability to layout your screen with web and traditional apps in a non-overlapping fashion so apps/web sites don’t get hidden or clipped.
Dragging and dropping content from panel to panel is very useful.

Cons: You need a good sized screen or high resolution display. Minimum display resolution is probably 1200 pixels wide.

Summary: Great application for people with good screens.

Note: Since this is not a full review (after only two days running with the free version of this app, I’m reserving judgment), but instead, an informational post only – you may find the comments from CNET users valuable.

Initial impression: I’m leaning toward the professional version since the free version’s restrictions are annoying. On the other hand, at less than $5.00 for the pro version, I think there’s good value here.

From the developer:

Slickscreen Professional is a one time fee for home users.  Corporate purchases of 5 or more licenses will be good for two years from the purchase date, at which time, an upgrade fee may be required for continued use.

Home users can install Slickscreen Profressional on all of their personal PC’s.   Corporate users are restricted to 1 computer per license.

If you’re interested in this type of application, then I suggest you view the short video on the developers product information page, here.

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Filed under Antimalware Suites, Browsers, Desktop Toys, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Multimedia Tools, Multiple Monitors, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Looking For The Best Free Screen Capture Utility? Checkout MWSnap

I like to use a lot of screen captures when I review an application – a picture is worth a thousand words, and all that. Lately, I’ve gotten more than a few questions from readers requesting the lowdown on the program I use to generate these screen shots.

Since I’m heavily into freeware (85% of my apps are freeware), I’ve been using the freeware screen capture application MWSnap, for years.

MWSnap is a highly rated small, yet powerful, Windows program for snapping (capturing) images from selected parts of the screen. I use it daily to create high-quality screen captures for presentations, documents, and most particularly – application screen captures for my Blog.

I use MWSnap so often, that I’ve pinned it to the Taskbar.

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The user interface is very simple, and very easy to follow. I must admit though, that I rarely see the interface since I generally use the “hot key” function.

mwsnap newf

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Fast facts:

Image editing – basic image editing options

5 snapping modes.

Support for BMP, JPG, TIFF, PNG and GIF formats, with selected color depth and quality settings.

System-wide hotkeys.

Clipboard copy/paste.

Printing.

Auto-saving, auto-printing.

Auto-start with Windows.

Minimizing to system tray.

An auto-extending list of fixed sizes, perfect for snapping images for icons and glyphs.

A zoom tool for magnifying selected parts of the screen.

A ruler tool for measuring screen objects lengths.

A color picker showing screen colors with separated RGB parts.

Fast picture viewer.

Adding frames and mouse pointer images.

Multilevel configurable undo and redo.

System Requirements: Any 32-bit Windows OS. I run this app on both Windows 7, and XP Pro systems.

Download at: Download.com

This application is an excellent choice for everyone –  from casual, to experienced users.

Additional free screen capture utilities mentioned by regular readers.

PicPick – PicPick is user friendly and full of features for creating your image, suitable for software developers, graphic designers and home user.
It is an all-in-one program that provides full-featured screen capture tool, intuitive image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair and even whiteboard.

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EasyCapture – EasyCapture is a easy-to-use free screen capture software that can capture any part of screen from your desktop. It can capture scrolling windows and entire web pages.

With this screen capture freeware, you can edit captured images and save to bmp, jpg, gif, png, tiff image format. You can add text annotation, arrows and other objects to create professional screenshots for inclusion in online tutorials, Word documents, manuals, promotion material, presentations, websites, emails and so on.

image

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5 Comments

Filed under downloads, Free Photo Applications, Freeware, Graphic Software, Image Editors, Multimedia Tools, Photo Tools, Screen Capture Utilities, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Download MWSnap – Free, Powerful Screen Capture Utility

Print Screen Tired of using the clunky Windows Alt-Printscreen command for capturing screen shots, but you don’t want to pay up to $40 to get more control over this function? Do you need more options and functionally when snapping screen shots?

Well the good news is, you don’t have to pay a penny to download and install a great little application that will allow you to do more than just capture screen shots, and that will give you the options and functionally you need.

MWSnap is a highly rated small, yet powerful, Windows program, for snapping (capturing) images from selected parts of the screen. I’ve been using this application for years, and I find it invaluable in day to day usage. I use it daily to create high-quality screen captures for presentations, documents and most particularly screen captures for my Blogs.

mwsnap new 2

The user interface is very simple, and easy to follow. I must admit though, that I rarely see the interface since I generally use the “hot key” function.

mwsnap newf

Fast facts:

Image editing – basic image editing options

5 snapping modes.

Support for BMP, JPG, TIFF, PNG and GIF formats, with selected color depth and quality settings.

System-wide hotkeys.

Clipboard copy/paste.

Printing.

Auto-saving, auto-printing.

Auto-start with Windows.

Minimizing to system tray.

An auto-extending list of fixed sizes, perfect for snapping images for icons and glyphs.

A zoom tool for magnifying selected parts of the screen.

A ruler tool for measuring screen objects lengths.

A color picker showing screen colors with separated RGB parts.

Fast picture viewer.

Adding frames and mouse pointer images.

Multilevel configurable undo and redo.

MWSnap does not require installation, and does not need any special drivers or system files.

Special thanks to Okie for suggesting this article.

System Requirements: any 32-bit Windows OS. I run this app on both Win 7, and XP Pro systems.

Download at: Download.com

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8 Comments

Filed under downloads, Free Photo Applications, Freeware, Image Editors, Screen Capture Utilities, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Download Free GOM Media Player – 5.1 Channel Output and Advanced Playback Capabilities

image I’ve never really warmed up to Windows Media Player. It’s bloated size,and outrageous overhead requirements (in my view), have always left me feeling just a little bit put out.

Years ago, (in 2003), I replaced Windows Media Player with a much smaller application – GOM Media Player. Back then, virtually no one had heard of this small (6 MB), free application.

I must admit, I was not very successful, initially, in converting my friends to my view of GOM Media Player. Over the years though, GOM Media Player’s support for a diverse range of file formats, it’s built in Codecs, and its advanced playback capabilities, have made it one of the most downloaded of all Windows Media Player replacements. In fact, it’s the number one downloaded media player on CNET (download.com), with nearly 20 Million downloads to date.

gom player 2

This small application is surprisingly strong and can play most encoded video formats including AVI, DAT, FLV, MPEG, DivX, XviD, and more, with its own built-in Codec system.

For the impatient types among us, GOM Media Player can even play video files that are still in the process of being downloaded. As well, files that have been broken during the downloading process can still be played.

The right click menu is extremely comprehensive (yet very easy to understand), allowing an amazing degree of custom control over virtually every aspect of the application. I do mean – an amazing degree of control!

A built-in Screen Capture utility allows you to take screenshots of your video directly from GOM Media Player. Using the Burst Capture feature, you can take up to 999 shots continuous screenshots. I love this feature! (I just had to mention this).

gom-player new 1

Fast facts:

DVD-quality videos with 5.1 channel audio output.

Supports most Codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, FLI using an embedded Codec system

Plays incomplete or damaged AVI file by skipping the damaged frames

Plays Locked Media Files while downloading or sharing

Supports HTTP Streaming ASF/OGG/MP3/AAC/MPEG PS/MPEG TS

Subtitle, Overlay Mixer features, Keys Remapping, Super speed/High Mode

Play Audio CD

Play Video CD/SVCD/XCD

Enhanced Filter Rendering

Drag-and-drop support

Editable skins

Real-time index rebuilding for AVI files

Unicode support

Advanced Features:

Customizable settings on the control panel

Adjust image brightness, hue, and saturation

Sharpen and add noise to your video

Audio equalizer

Fast forward/rewind using left/right keys

Repeat a section of your video using A-B Repeat feature

System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 (no indication that x64 is supported).

Download at: Download.com

This is my personal choice of media player; the application that I use primarily for playback of downloaded videos, and I have yet to be disappointed with its performance. I highly recommend this excellent free application.

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.

11 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Media Player Replacement, Media Players, Software, Video, Video Players, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Remotely Assist Friends and Family with LogMeIn Express Beta

image If you’re the person who’s often asked by friends, to help them, their friends, their neighbors, ……..the list goes on, to reconstruct a computer that is not responding appropriately, has become loaded with malware, etc., then LogMeIn Express Beta is worth taking a look at. Running this free screen sharing/remote control application is simple – one of the easiest I’ve used.

To get up and running:

The sharer (host), downloads a small 874Kb applet from the LogMeIn Express site.

You (viewer), enter a 12-digit code given to you by the sharer, e.g. email, and then enter the code on the LogMeIn Express website.

That’s it – you now have access to their screen and remote control. To make it even easier, Chat is enabled – no voice support is included in this version.

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Security is built into all aspects of a LogMeIn Express session; the  connection is secured using 256-bit SSL encryption.

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It struck me, that the typical computer user using LogMeIn Express , doesn’t need to know anything about ports or protocols, or any other complicated jargon, and with LogMeIn Express up and running, connection to the remote computer can be accomplished within minutes.

A number of my friends, who are only moderately techno competent, have used this neat little tool to rescue their family’s and friend’s computers. Many have commented that it feels just as if they were working side by side with the remote user, on the same PC. I second that perception. Awesome!

Fast facts – from the developer’s site:

It’s Simple

Session code generated by the host instantly shares screen with one or many

Small download for the host; no client required for the viewer

Easy-to-use chat capabilities

It’s Secure

End-to-end, 256-bit SSL encryption — the same security levels used and trusted by major banking institutions

Permission based — end user must approve remote control

It’s Free

Express Beta is free for both commercial and non-commercial use

Host requirements:

Windows 7, Vista, XP, Server 2003 & Server 2008 (all including 64-bit)

Broadband connectivity to the Internet (i.e., T1, cable modem, ISDN, or DSL)

Viewer requirements:

Flash Player 9, 10

Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 or Firefox 3 or Chrome 3 or Safari 4

Broadband connectivity to the Internet (i.e., T1, cable modem, ISDN, or DSL)

Go to: LogMeIn Express

Bottom line: If you have the skills, and you have the opportunity to provide tech support to your family or friends, then LogMeIn Express might just be the tool you’ve been looking for. Keep in mind however, that this application is still in Beta.

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.

16 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Remote Tech Support, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free GOM Media Player – 5 Star Rated – 5.1 Channel Output

Kick Windows Media Player to the curb! Replace it and get 5.1 Channel Output, advanced playback capabilities and more, with GOM Media Player.

I’ve never really warmed up to Windows Media Player. It’s bloated size,and outrageous overhead requirements (in my view), have always left me feeling just a little bit put out.

GOM Media Player, (the unusual name stands for Gretech Online Movie Player), has been the media player I’ve relied on for years now, and it just gets better with every release.

GOM Media Player’s support for a diverse range of file formats, it’s built in Codecs, and its advanced playback capabilities, have made it one of the most downloaded of all Windows Media Player replacements. It is the number one downloaded media player on CNET, with nearly 15,000,000 downloads to date.

gom player 2

GOM Media Player is a relatively small (5.77 MB) application that can play most encoded video formats including AVI, DAT, FLV, MPEG, DivX, XviD, and more, with its own built-in Codec system.

If you’re the impatient type, GOM Media Player can even play video files that are still in the process of being downloaded. As well, files that have been broken during the downloading process can still be played.

For audio/video files that GOM Media Player can not play due to a missing Codec, (I haven’t found one yet), GOM Media Player will attempt to find one using GUID; if you are interested in seeing how GUID works then go to GUID.org. Once it finds a match, you will be redirected to a download site from which you can download and install the required Codec/s.

A built-in Screen Capture utility allows you to take screenshots of your video directly from GOM Media Player. Using the Burst Capture feature, you can take up to 999 shots continuous screenshots. I love this feature!

This is my personal choice of media player, and I have yet to be disappointed with its performance. I highly recommend this excellent free application.

Quick facts:

    • DVD-quality videos with 5.1 channel audio output.
    • Supports most Codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, FLI using an embedded Codec system
    • Plays incomplete or damaged AVI file by skipping the damaged frames
    • Plays Locked Media Files while downloading or sharing
    • Supports HTTP Streaming ASF/OGG/MP3/AAC/MPEG PS/MPEG TS
    • Subtitle, Overlay Mixer features, Keys Remapping, Super speed/High Mode
    • Play Audio CD
    • Play Video CD/SVCD/XCD
    • Enhanced Filter Rendering
    • Drag-and-drop support
    • Editable skins
    • Real-time index rebuilding for AVI files
    • Unicode support

    Advanced Features:

      • Customizable settings on the control panel
      • Adjust image brightness, hue, and saturation
      • Sharpen and add noise to your video
      • Audio equalizer
      • Fast forward/rewind using left/right keys
      • Repeat a section of your video using A-B Repeat feature

      System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista

      Note: I’m currently running this application on Windows 7 RC with no problems whatsoever.

      Download at: Download.com

      5 Comments

      Filed under Digital Media, Freeware, High Definition Video Players, Multimedia Tools, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

      GOM Media Player – 5 Star Rated and Free!

      Free 5.1 Channel Output. Advanced Playback Capabilities.

      Tired of Windows Media Player’s weaknesses? Fed up with its 24.5 MB bloated size? Are you unhappy with its outrageous overhead requirements? Then GOM Media Player, (the unusual name stands for Gretech Online Movie Player), may well be the tool you’ve been looking for.

      GOM Media Player’s support for a diverse range of file formats, it’s built in Codecs, and its advanced playback capabilities, have made it one of the most downloaded of all Windows Media Player replacements. It is the number one downloaded media player on CNET (download.com), with nearly 12,000,000 downloads to date.

      gom player 2

      GOM Media Player is a relatively small (4.66MB) application that can play most encoded video formats including AVI, DAT, FLV, MPEG, DivX, XviD, and more, with its own built-in Codec system.

      If you’re the impatient type, GOM Media Player can even play video files that are still in the process of being downloaded. As well, files that have been broken during the downloading process can still be played.

      For audio/video files that GOM Media Player can not play due to a missing Codec, (I haven’t found one yet), GOM Media Player will attempt to find one using GUID; if you are interested in seeing how GUID works then go to GUID.org. http://www.guid.org/ Once it finds a match, you will be redirected to a download site from which you can download and install the required Codec/s.

      A built-in Screen Capture utility allows you to take screenshots of your video directly from GOM Media Player. Using the Burst Capture feature, you can take up to 999 shots continuous screenshots. I love this feature!

      This is my personal choice of media player, and I have yet to be disappointed with its performance. I highly recommend this really excellent free application.

      Quick facts:

      • DVD-quality videos with 5.1 channel audio output.
      • Supports most Codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, FLI using an embedded Codec system
      • Plays incomplete or damaged AVI file by skipping the damaged frames
      • Plays Locked Media Files while downloading or sharing
      • Supports HTTP Streaming ASF/OGG/MP3/AAC/MPEG PS/MPEG TS
      • Subtitle, Overlay Mixer features, Keys Remapping, Super speed/High Mode
      • Play Audio CD
      • Play Video CD/SVCD/XCD
      • Enhanced Filter Rendering
      • Drag-and-drop support
      • Editable skins
      • Real-time index rebuilding for AVI files
      • Unicode support

      Advanced Features:

      • Customizable settings on the control panel
      • Adjust image brightness, hue, and saturation
      • Sharpen and add noise to your video
      • Audio equalizer
      • Fast forward/rewind using left/right keys
      • Repeat a section of your video using A-B Repeat feature

      System Requirements: Windows Me/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista

      Note: I’m currently running this application on Windows 7 Beta with no problems what-so-ever.

      Download at: Download.com

      2 Comments

      Filed under Digital Media, Freeware, High Definition Video Players, Media Player Replacement, Multimedia Tools, Open Source, Software, Windows Tips and Tools