Tag Archives: tool

ElfYourself – That’s right (Go ElfYourself)!

imageAgain this year, as they have for the last 5/6 years or so, OfficeMax is offering the charmingly humorous ElfYourself, an online animated Christmas greeting creation tool.

Working with ElfYourself is actually a bit of fun, and while the end product is not “professional”, in any sense, the result is pretty cool – especially when one considers the price; FREE.

Once the project is completed (it takes just a few minutes), you can then share your Christmas greeting by email, or post it to either your Facebook Wall, or to a friend’s Wall. This year you can even share on Twitter.

Go to ElfYourself to get started.

Once on the site, follow the simple instructions. The following screen captures will give you some idea of how uncomplicated the process is.

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The cropping tools could be a little more robust, I think. But, free is free – so, who’s complaining.

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The interface allows a number of minor adjustments.

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Once the face has been adjusted to your liking, the next step is choosing a dance to accompany the animation.

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Luckily, there’s a fair number of choices.

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New, this year – you can now download the finished video and save the file locally.

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Once you’re satisfied with the results – sharing your creation is a breeze.

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If you’re tired of the same old, same old, Christmas greetings, then visit ElfYourself and get creative. You’ll have a bit of fun at the same time.

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.

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9 Comments

Filed under Arts and Crafts, Cloud Computing Applications, Freeware, Just for Laughs, Recommended Web Sites

Burn Your CDs/DVDs With Free CDBurnerXP

image If you’re looking for value in a CD/DVD burner (and what can be better than free), then CDBurnerXP (last updated November 24, 2010), is definitely a significant freeware application.

The fairly simple interface makes it a breeze to use for even the most inexperienced user, although it should be said that some users have mentioned that the interface has some confusing aspects.  Hmm, I don’t see it.

I have burned dozens of CDs/DVDs in the last year using this free application, and in every case, CDBurnerXP did the job flawlessly.

If you’re looking for a free CD/DVD burner application to do what it says it will do, with an easy to work with interface, then CDBurnerXP could be the program you’ve been looking for.

The following screen captures illustrate just how “one click simple” it is to burn an ISO for example, using CDBurnerXP.

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Now, how hard is that?

Quick facts:

Burn audio-CDs with, and without gaps between tracks

Burn on the fly (you don’t have to image the disc in advance)

Rip Audio-CDs to a Hard Drive

Obtains track-information (ID3-tags) from the Internet

Burn and create ISO-files

Create bootable discs

Drag-and-drop

Multilanguage interface

Customizable with many settings

Data verification after burn,

Simple cover printing

Supports most IDE, USB, FireWire and SCSI drives

Free – (for both personal and corporate use)

No adware, malicious components, or restrictions

System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7 (64 bit compatible)

Additional Requirements: .NET Framework 2.0

Download at: Cdburnerxp

Bonus: A portable version of this application is also available. Click on “more download options”, on the download page.

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.

2 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, CD/DVD Tools, downloads, Freeware, New Computer User Software Tools, Portable Applications, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Go Elf Yourself! – Christmas Is Coming!

Again this year, as they have for the last five years or so, OfficeMax is offering the charmingly humorous ElfYourself, an online animated Christmas greeting creation tool.

Working with ElfYourself is actually a bit of fun, and while the end product is not “professional”, in any sense, the result is pretty cool – especially when one considers the price; FREE.

Once the project is completed (it takes just a few minutes), you can then share your Holiday greeting by email, or post it to either your Facebook Wall, or to a friend’s Wall.

Go to ElfYourself to get started.

image

Once on the site, follow the simple instructions. The following screen captures will give you some idea of how uncomplicated the process is.

image

The cropping tools could be a little more robust, I think. But, free is free – so, who’s complaining.

image

The interface allows a number of minor adjustments.

image

Once the face has been adjusted to your liking, the next step is choosing a dance to accompany the animation. Luckily, there’s a fair number of choices.

image

Once you’re satisfied with the results – sharing your creation is a breeze.

image

imageA tip of my Hat, although since it’s winter here in Canada – a tip of my Toque, to my good British friend John B., who was kind enough to put me on his list of ElfYourself Christmas greetings. Check this out.

If you’re tired of the same old, same old, Christmas greetings, then visit ElfYourself and get creative. You’ll have a bit of fun at the same time.

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.

9 Comments

Filed under Arts and Crafts, Cloud Computing Applications, Email, Freeware, Just for Laughs, Recommended Web Sites, Social Networks, Software, Video, Windows Tips and Tools

Windows 7 and Vista Ultimate Windows Tweaker –

Ultimate Windows Tweaker is a freeware utility for tweaking and optimizing Windows Vista, and now Windows 7 –  both 32-bit, and 64-bit versions.

This small (235KB), program has a clean, easy to understand interface that gives you access to over 150 system settings, some of which are hidden, and others that are just hard to find. The interface is organized for easy navigation, and it is complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.

The major benefit in using this type of tweaking application is the ease with which you can make changes to your system – without the drudgery of having to go through menu after menu, or manually editing the Registry to get the results you want.

However, as with any application that makes changes to your system, use caution and be sure to have a verified backup. Fortunately, Ultimate Windows Tweaker allows you to create a system-restore point before you make any changes.

The following screen captures should give you a good idea of what you can accomplish using Ultimate Windows Tweaker.

Personalization Tweaks. Click on any graphic to expand.

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System Performance Tweaks.

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Network Tweaks.

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Additional Tweaks.

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System Requirements: Windows 7, Vista – 32 and 64 Bit.

Bonus: Ultimate Windows Tweaker can easily be copied to a USB flash drive for portability.

Download at: The Windows Club

While this application is designed for advanced users, I see no reason why careful average users should have any problem tweaking their system using Ultimate Windows Tweaker.

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.

3 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Portable Applications, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, USB, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista

Tweak and Optimize Windows Settings with Free Fresh UI

Freshdevices’ Fresh UI is a powerful tool that allows you to configure and optimize your version of Windows – from Windows 95 (hard to believe this OS is still in use), through to Windows XP.

With Fresh UI’s simple interface you have the means to access literally hundreds of system settings – settings that you might otherwise have a hard time getting at.

Navigating through this application is easy since the interface is organized similar to Windows Explorer, complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.

I have heard from some users that in their view, it was not always clear what outcome they could expect with some of the selections. On the other hand, most users seem to agree that the help file is fairly extensive, and easy to understand for those who have a reasonable knowledge of their operating system.

The major benefit in using this type of tweaking application is the ease with which you can make changes to your system, without the drudgery of having to go through menu after menu, or manually editing the Registry, to get the results you want.

However, as with any application that makes changes to your system, use caution, and be sure to have a verified backup.

FreshUI 2

Quick facts:

Customizing Windows User Interface (UI)

Optimizing system settings

Optimizing hardware settings

Customizing Windows application settings

Control user environment

System requirements: Windows XP/2000/NT/ 98/95/

Note: Free registration is required which will extend usage past 11 days. Fresh Devices will email you once or twice monthly with various offers regarding their other freeware. If you consider such activity as Spam, do not download this application.

Last updated: October 10, 2009

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free CDBurnerXP – Burn Baby, Burn!

image If you’re looking for value (and what can be better than free), CDBurnerXP is definitely a significant freeware application.

The fairly simple interface makes it a breeze for even the most inexperienced user, although it should be said that some users have mentioned that the interface has some confusing aspects.

A disadvantage for some potential users may be the necessity to download and install .Net Framework 2.0, which is a 22.4 MB Microsoft application (280 MB on install), that will take at least an hour to download over a dial-up Internet connection. Contrasting with that is the approximately ten minutes, or so, download time on even a slower cable Internet connection.

I have burned, at least, several hundred CDs in the last year using this free application, and in every case CDBurnerXP did the job flawlessly.

If you’re looking for a free burner application to do what it says it will do, with an easy to work with interface, then CDBurnerXP could be the program you’ve been looking for.

image

Quick facts:

Burn audio-CDs with, and without gaps between tracks

Burn on the fly (you don’t have to image the disc in advance)

Rip Audio-CDs to a Hard Drive

Obtains track-information (ID3-tags) from the Internet

Burn and create ISO-files

Create bootable discs

Drag-and-drop

Multilanguage interface

Customizable with many settings

Data verification after burn,

Simple cover printing

Supports most IDE, USB, FireWire and SCSI drives

Free – (for both personal and corporate use)

No adware, malicious components, or restrictions

System Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista

Additional Requirements: .NET Framework 2.0

Download at: Download.com

5 Comments

Filed under CD/DVD Tools, Freeware, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Tweak Vista To The Max – Ultimate Windows Tweaker Free

Ultimate Windows Tweaker is a freeware utility for tweaking and optimizing Windows Vista, 32-bit & 64-bit specifically.

This small (235KB), program has a clean, easy to understand interface that gives you access to over 150 system settings, some of which are hidden, and others that are just hard to find. The interface is organized for easy navigation, and it is complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.

The major benefit in using this type of tweaking application is the ease with which you can make changes to your system, without the drudgery of having to go through menu after menu, or manually editing the Registry to get the results you want.

However, as with any application that makes changes to your system, use caution and be sure to have a verified backup. Fortunately, Ultimate Windows Tweaker allows you to create a system-restore point before you make any changes.

ultimate-windows-tweaker-1

Quick facts:

Personalization

User Accounts & UAC

System & Performance

Security

Internet Explorer (IE7 / IE8)

Network Optimization

Additional Options

System Requirements:

Windows – Vista 32 and 64 Bit.

Minimum system configuration:

Microsoft Windows Vista

800×600 screen resolution with 256 colors

5 MB free disk space

Internet Explorer 7 or higher

Recommended system configuration:

Microsoft Windows Vista

1024×768 screen resolution with 32-bit colors

10 MB free disk space

Internet Explorer 7 or higher

Bonus:

Ultimate Windows Tweaker can easily be copied to a USB flash drive for portability.

Download at: Major Geeks

For those operating on versions of Windows other than Vista checkout, “Tweak Windows to the Max with Fresh UI Free”, on this site.

8 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Portable Applications, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools