/* Windows and Linux Program Software Reviews: 2009 */

Friday, November 27, 2009

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

Reviews Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2






Products by Adobe

Platform: Windows Vista / XP, Mac OS X Intel, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

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Product Details
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software is the professional photographer's essential toolbox, providing one easy application for managing, adjusting, and presenting large volumes of digital photographs so you can spend less time in front of the computer and more time behind the lens. Product Description: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - ( v. 2 ) - complete package Category: Creativity application Subcategory: Creativity - graphics & image editing Version: 2 License Type: Complete package License Qty: 1 user License Pricing: Standard Language(s): Universal English Platform: Windows, MacOS Distribution Media: CD-ROM Package Type: Retail OS Required: Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Apple MacOS X 10.4, Microsoft Windows Vista, Apple MacOS X 10.5


* Enhance specific areas of a photo, or precisely adjust overall color, exposure, and tonal range nondestructively
* Automatically import, rename, and sort your entire shoot; find your photos quickly with powerful yet flexible sorting, selecting, and organizational tools
* Present your work in dynamic slide shows, interactive web galleries, and a variety of flexible print templates; easily upload your photos to popular online photo-sharing sites
* Configure your workspace to manage image workflow and presentation more efficiently thanks to support for multiple monitors
* Every change you make to an image is automatically tracked, so you can return to any state with a single click



* Platform: Windows Vista / XP, Mac OS X Intel, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
* Media: CD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1

# Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.7 x 1.9 inches
# Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

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Reviews Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2


This version is a different animal. I don't know whether to call it an image cataloging program with powerful image editor or an amazing image processing program with an intuitive cataloging feature.

Its library catalogs images across multiple drives with an enchantingly user-friendly interface. The enchanced previews allow you to sort the sharp from the not-quite-so-sharp at a glance. Keywording for a shoot can be accomplished in minutes thanks to the spray formatting feature. Enter or choose a group of words once, then apply them to multiple shots.

The program recognizes multiple image formats, including 180 versions of RAW, and you can covert them with ease. The Develop mode is magical. You can adjust exposure, white balance, healing (for those pesky dust spots)and everything else Raw for Photoshop can do, plus gradients and a brush tool that applies adjustments to certain parts of the image. In fact, most users will not even need Photoshop.

The Print and Web output features are amazing. You can easily put together picture packages for friends, or clients, or create a fantastic Web gallery with eye-catching templates. The sharpening tool for output has been improved. You will love it.

The UI's and workflows are certainly different, but I find both manageable. I felt that there was a bit more of a learning curve with Aperture, particularly if you are familiar with iPhoto. Aperture is not really iPhoto on steroids. I found working in Lightroom not to be particularly hard, but the benefit of reading the documentation opened up the software a fair amount.

I really liked Lightroom's tight integration with Photoshop. At one point there were many more plugins for Lightroom than Aperture, but now that seems to be evening out. Correction tools are quite good for both applications, but Lightroom's Localized adjustment tool is something I hope Apple will copy.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8

Reviews Adobe Photoshop Elements 8






Products by Adobe

Platform: Windows

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Product Details
The Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 Software for Windows s an intuitive, yet powerful, consumer image editing application for Windows. The software is designed in a way that anyone can use it, bringing the legendary power of Photoshop into the hands of even the most casual photographer.The software features tools that let you organize images into albums, retouch photos, create digital photo albums and share your photos with friends and family. A membership to the Photoshop.com is included, giving you 2GB of online storage for pictures and videos. You can share your Online Albums via a personalized URL, allowing you to view your galleries from anywhere with an Internet connection. Pictures automatically sync between your computer and your online account.


* Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 combines power and simplicity so you can easily go beyond the basics to tell great stories with your photos
* Make your photos look extraordinary with easy-to-use editing options--whiten teeth, recompose photos, remove unwanted elements and more
* Share your stories in beautiful, personalized print creations and web experiences, and share on popular devices
* Easily manage and protect all your photos and video clips from one convenient place
* Enjoy automatic online backup with 2GB of free storage, and access your photos and videos anywhere you are



* Platform: Windows
* Media: DVD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1


>> more details..

Reviews Adobe Photoshop Elements 8


This is a fantastic photo editor and organization solution. I'm not sure why there are so many bad reviews. I had no problems at all. If there was one thing I would change, it would be to have two different launchers. One for the standard splash screen to select edit or organize and one launcher for the editor only. You can get around this by right-clicking on a photo file and select 'Open with' (Vista) and choosing the Photoshop editor.

This review assumes some familiarity with digital photography and digital image concepts, and some previous exposure to other PSE versions.

Installation:
-No issues with PSE 8 installation on a computer with a recent Windows 7 upgrade running on a dual-core 3 GHZ processor with 4 GB of RAM. Because the upgrade to Windows 7 on this machine a month earlier was complicated by the versions of other Adobe products, this was an area of concern. Those problems --resolved by eventually upgrading Acrobat to version 9 in conjunction with the Windows 7 install-- happily remained dormant during the installation of PSE 8.

-At install, PSE 8 recognized that PSE 6 was already installed. It did not force an uninstall of version 6, but eventually prompts to select which version to use. I selected PSE 8, and uneventfully completed the PSE 6 uninstall later. The install routine advises you that you may uninstall the earlier version at any time, but that you will have to select which version to run.

-The license for this product permits installation on one primary and one "mobile" computer, with the restriction not to use PSE 8 on both computers at the same time.

-Total installation time (including entering the registration code and skimming the EULA) was less than 10 minutes.

Function and features:
-The interface, function and features of PSE 8 will be familiar to users of versions 6 and 7. The .psd files are still manipulated using layers and selection tools, the complete spectrum of image effects ("filters") remain, and the image enhancement and editing tools remain available essentially unchanged from the last two versions (along the ability to save in wide range of digital file formats).

-PSE 8's organizing function recognized and indexed (which it calls "importing") my existing 38000+ digital images with some help. Windows users who store images in a location other than the default "My Pictures" location under your user name, will have to prompt PSE 8 where to find their pictures.

-PSE 8 recognized the scanner on my system, and immediately allowed my to import scans using both the scanner's proprietary interface (Epson software) and WIA (Windows Image Acquisition, the successor to the TWAIN image acquisition standard) options.

-Output to the printers on my system was trouble-free. Accepting the default printing options yielded fine results, but advanced options for those who like to tweak are readily available.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Norton 360 3.0 1-User/3Pc

Norton 360 3.0 1-User/3Pc






Products by Symantec

Platform: Windows Vista / XP

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Product Details

* Platform: Windows Vista / XP
* Media: CD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1



* Norton 360 3.0 provides automated, comprehensive protection for your PC and online activities--the industry's fastest, lightest, most complete security solution
* PC security defends against viruses, spyware, botnets, and more, protecting your computer and all your online activities
* Identity protection safeguards you against online identity theft, letting you shop, bank, and browse with confidence
* PC Tuneup keeps your PC running at peak performance, which makes your computer run faster and helps keep it running like new
* Automated backup and restore protects your important files from loss--safeguards your irreplaceable photos, movies, music, and more

# Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.7 x 1.9 inches
# Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
# Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.

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Reviews Norton 360 3.0 1-User/3Pc


Pros:
-Intrusion prevention/Auto-protect (Firewall)
-Virus scanner with the largest database among all virus scanners
-Heuristics scanner that makes even Kaspersky jealous
-Other security features (Email scanning, browser settings check, network address check)
-File backup
-Disk defragger
-Temp file removal
-Registry scanner
-Does all of the above automatically while your computer is idle
-Has a full gamut options to fully control what 360 can and cannot do

I installed Norton 360 thinking I might have many problems installing because I already had a virus, but the installation took less than 5 minutes and within 30 minutes all the viruses, trojans, and rootkits had been removed from all three infected computers. This is an excellent product. It runs quickly, unobtrusively, in the background, and just WORKS.

Norton Antivirus 2010 1-User

Norton Antivirus 2010 1-User






Products by Symantec

Platform: Windows Vista / XP

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Product Details

* Platform: Windows Vista / XP
* Media: CD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1



* Norton AntiVirus 2010 delivers industry-leading protection against viruses, spyware and more without slowing down your PC
* Proactive protection automatically removes threats and stops new attacks before they can do damage
* Uses intelligence-driven technology for faster, fewer, shorter scans--spend more time using your PC and less time waiting for scans
* Provides clear, useful information about the CPU and memory resources used by applications to help you keep your PC running at top speed
* Tells you what attacks it catches, where they came from and what they did so you can avoid future attacks

# Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
# Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.

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Reviews Norton Antivirus 2010 1-User



I was very happy with this product. I trust this product exclusively.I always buy Norton virus protection. I've tried free antivirus software in the past without great results. I purchased this product because Norton has a good reputation. I like knowing that I have quality protection, it keeps track of virus' it blocks and lets you know when you've encountered a problem. I recommend this software :)

Norton is a very dependable product.. it s a shame we have to keep buying and upgrading tho.. Macs dont have the security problems Microsoft does..

Quicken Deluxe 2010

Reviews Quicken Deluxe 2010






Products by Intuit

Platform: Windows Vista / 7 / XP

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Product Details

* Platform: Windows Vista / 7 / XP
* Media: CD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1



* Quicken Deluxe 2010 helps you set personal finance goals and save more
* Brings your accounts together all in one place and helps you set budgeting and savings goals
* Helps you stay on top of bills and avoid late fees with alerts on upcoming payments
* Check in anytime to see exactly where your personal finances are for the week, month or year
* Easily export your data directly to TurboTax for fast and accurate tax preparation

# Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
# Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.

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Reviews Quicken Deluxe 2010


Changes in Quicken 2010 -
1. Now I can configure which tabs to show on main panel, options include Bills, Banking, Investing, Planning, etc . I was waiting for this feature, not a big deal but kind of handy when you want to get control of what you want to see.
2. Now Quicken is creating one data file instead of multiple files it used to create for 2009 version. So easy to carry / copy data files.
3. Startup time has improved.
4. Look and Feel of user interface has changed.

The interface in 2010 is slightly different from 2007, but mainly just different colors and slightly different graphic formats. Other than that, I've poked around just about every feature to look for something that this product does different from 2007 and could not find much of anything. The only convenient change that I have noticed so far is that when I back up my data, the data is now contained in one file, rather than having six different files associated with the same backup.

Antivirus Norton Internet Security 2010 1-User/3PC

Norton Internet Security 2010 1-User/3PC






Products by Symantec

Platform: Windows Vista / XP

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Product Details

* Platform: Windows Vista / XP
* Media: CD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1


* Norton Internet Security 2010 delivers fast and light comprehensive online threat protection, guarding your PC, network, and your identity without slowing you down
* Gives you greater insight into downloaded applications and files by telling you where they came from, if they can be trusted, and how they may impact your PC’s resources and performance
* Warns you of dangerous web sites and suspicious sellers so you can surf and shop online with confidence
* Stops online identity theft, viruses, spyware, bots and more--guard your PC, online activities, and your identity against all types of Internet threats
* Proactively blocks hackers and prevents dangerous software from downloading to your computer when you surf the web

# Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
# Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.


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Reviews Norton Internet Security 2010 1-User/3PC


I installed the software on two PCs so far...one a Vista Ultimate having no existing security software, and the other a Windows XP with McAffee's product. The installer suggested removing the McAffee product (which I did) and the installation was similarly uneventful on both of my systems from there on. It does force a reboot, and between the initial install plus downloading any updates, it took longer than I expected - about half an hour end to end.

As for performance, there is a slight (but noticeable) increase in the reboot time when Norton starts up - perhaps an extra 30 seconds total. And if you're sensitive to performance, you can also tell when the product is updating virus signatures in the background, or performing one of its quick virus scans.

The good trend seems to continue this year as well.

Installation: Installation was very quick similar to NIS2009. It does require a restart which seems to be the case for most virus protection software. Norton for some reason wants us to download and install parental control separately. just a hazel. If you are an existing NIS user you can upgrade from Norton's upgrade website before deciding to purchase the new version. The upgrade will retain your 2009 subscription and your license will be retained as well. NOTE: If you install from CD, your old license will be over written.

Performance: I don't think NIS2010 is a resource hog. Norton also has performance meters where you can check how much of the system resources are being used by Norton. It seems NIS 2010 uses most system resources only during a complete scan. NIS2010 upgrade virus signatures on the background during idle time just like NIS2009. So you dont feel that it exists. Quick scans during idle times also seem to be pretty quick. I havent noticed any loss of performance in the one week that I have been using NIs2010.

Virus protection: Based on tests by PC world and CNET Norton is only behind the not well known G-DATA internet security in virus detection. I havent used G-DATA so I cant compare them. However, NIS has gotten better at malware detection. It did detect a number of malware that adaware and other security software that I use (e.g. Advanced system care). NIS2009 missed a number of these malware.

Network protection: Although NIS claims that when NIS is installed in all PCs on your network, it can detect and keep a trusted network, it has not worked for me. NIS detected my skype phone (ofcourse didn't protect it), but didn't detect my other PC on the network that also has NIS2010 installed. I am not sure if this 'trust' is of any use to me anyway.

Internet security: Norton identified websites that you visit (amazon, bank and ccard websites for example) as trusted ones based on IP address and other data. so you can be safe you are not entering your password on a phishing website. It is very handy for me. I always look for the 'trusted' sign from both Firefox and NIS before entering my passwords.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Upgrade

Reviews Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Upgrade






Products by Microsoft

Platform: Windows 7

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Product Details


* Windows 7 Professional (includes 32 & 64-bit versions) lets you run Windows XP productivity programs in Windows XP Mode, recover data easily with automatic backups to your home or business network, connect to company networks effortlessly and more securely
* Make the things you do every day easier with improved desktop navigation; start programs faster and more easily, and quickly find the documents you use most often
* Make your web experience faster, easier and safer than ever with Internet Explorer 8
* Watch, pause, rewind, and record TV on your PC
* Easily create a home network and connect your PCs to a printer with HomeGroup


* Platform: Windows 7
* Media: DVD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1


>> more details..

Reviews Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Upgrade


When Vista came out, I jumped ship and my wife and I promptly acquired two Macs. Vista had/still has so many problems that I didn't even want to fool with Windows again in spite of all my "windows only" software. Snow Leopard (Mac OS 10.6) is a great OS. I wasn't even really tempted to look at Windows 7 when the announcements started coming out. Apparently Microsoft has finally listened to the millions of Windows users and given them what they want. usability and stability. from day one. It has so many great new features that I can't even begin to go into detail. the new explorer/libray feature is by far the easiest/intuitive file system that I have seen. they have improved the serch functions dramatically. It's right up there with the spotlight/search in Mac OS.
Its quick and responsive just like the ads say. I have been using the full version since it was made available for download on August 22. I have not experience a crash yet.
Overall, I am very very pleased. for the first time in a long time I feel like I got my moneys worth.

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade

Reviews Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade






Products by Microsoft

Platform: Windows 7

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Product Details



* (Includes 32 & 64-bit versions cd-rom) Combines remarkable ease-of-use with the entertainment features of Home Premium and the business capabilities of Professional--get it all with with Windows 7 Ultimate
* Make the things you do every day easier with improved desktop navigation; start programs faster and more easily, and quickly find the documents you use most often
* Run many Windows XP productivity programs in Windows XP Mode; watch, pause, rewind, and record TV on your PC
* Easily create a home network and connect your PCs to a printer with HomeGroup; connect to company networks easily and more securely with Domain Join
* Recover your data easily with automatic backup to your home and business network; help protect data on your PC and portable storage devices against loss or theft with BitLocker



* Platform: Windows 7
* Media: DVD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1



>> more details..

Reviews Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade


PRO's:
- Fast startup and performance
- Stable
- Nice aesthetic and functional changes to the desktop
- Improved networking, power management & security
- 32-bit & 64-bit versions included
- Windows Media Center
- Windows XP Mode

CON's:
- User Account Control still annoying
- Upgrade can be challenging
- Expensive

** CLEAN UPGRADE UPDATE 10/29/09 **
It seems that a lot of upgraders have been complaining about the upgrade process, especially from XP. Most of us expected to be able to format our hard disks and be prompted for either the XP disc or product key. Alas, this is not the case. The upgrade is much more complicated than it should be and some workarounds have been discovered

Method A (simplest)
If you already have an older version of Windows on the hard drive, finish the Custom Install, without entering the product key. After installation, go to your System Properties and click the link to activate Windows. Enter your product key and it should activate. This has worked for me twice.

Method B (hardest)
If Method A doesn't work, try the registry hack.
1. Finish the custom install without entering the product key then click Start and type regedit.exe into the "Search programs and files" box.
2. In the registry, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/. In the pane on the right, you'll see an entry for MediaBootInstall. Double-click on it and change the value from "1" to "0" and click OK.
3. Close regedit and go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories then right-click on Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator." You'll get a UAC alert, click Yes.
4. At the command prompt, type: slmgr /rearm and hit Enter. Reboot.
5. Now try to activate. If it fails, make sure there are no pending Windows Updates to install. If there is, install them, reboot and start over from Step 4.

Method C (most time consuming)
Perform the Custom Install and skip the product key. Once completed, run the upgrade again from within Windows 7 but this time, enter the Windows 7 upgrade key and then activate Windows.
** END UPDATE **

Monday, November 9, 2009

McAfee Total Protection 3User 2010

Save up to 60% on McAfee Total Protection 3User 2010






Products by McAfee

Platform: Windows Vista / 2000 / XP

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Product Details


* Platform: Windows Vista / 2000 / XP
* Media: CD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1



* McAfee Total Protection 2010 provides award-winning PC and online security for total peace of mind
* Detects, blocks, and removes viruses, spyware, and adware
* Identity protection helps you to shop, bank, and trade online safely
* Parental controls allow your children to go online safely
* Advanced home network protection with network monitoring




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Reviews McAfee Total Protection 3User 2010


McAfee's managment center is simple and easy to use. If you run a business, McAfee easily integrates all your computers and firewalls. This makes your business networking easy, safe, and effective. McAfee also works silently in the background to ensure optimal performance. Unlike Norton that would take me hours to set up rules and schedules, McAfee efficiently runs on auto pilot. Norton sounds bells and whistles when it finds an virus, but McAfee effectively erases them without all the excitement and alarm(take for example the way Norton lists every cookie as a potential security threat- that's hardly the case).

Using McAfee I have had NO nightmares and the SiteAdvisor gives me the Head's Up if I'm on a possibly bad website and I'm happy to say I've had no problems since switching to McAfee.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade

Best price Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade



Products by Microsoft

Platform: Windows 7

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Product Details
* Platform: Windows 7
* Media: DVD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1



* Windows 7 Home Premium (includes 32-bit & 64-bit versions) makes it easy to create a home network and share all of your favorite photos, videos, and music--you can even watch, pause, rewind, and record TV
* Make the things you do every day easier with improved desktop navigation
* Easily create a home network and connect your PCs to a printer with HomeGroup
* Start programs faster and more easily, and quickly find the documents you use most often
* Make your web experience faster, easier and safer than ever with Internet Explorer 8

# Product Dimensions: 6 x 8 x 2 inches
# Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces


>> more details..

Reviews Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade


- Fast startup and performance
- Stable
- Nice aesthetic and functional changes to the desktop
- Improved networking, power management & security
- 32-bit & 64-bit versions included
- Windows Media Center
- Windows XP Mode (Professional & Ultimate only)

Here's what I like about Windows 7:

- Driver Support: I didn't have to hunt for one driver. Win7 recognized everything including my TV tuner card and front panel A/V ports.
- New Task Bar: Easy access to apps... but did MS rip off Apple's dock? ;-)
- Jump Lists: You are only a right-click away from accessing recent documents, folders , web sites, and even recent remote computers.
- Snap: A quick way to resize windows. I can quickly make 2 windows take up my entire 24" screen.
- Home Group: File sharing that's easy for anyone to use.
- New Windows Explorer and Libraries: You basically have quicker access to the "major" types of files on your computer (i.e. documents, music, photos, etc.). It's a simple change but a welcomed one. Plus you can create your own Libraries. (I added libraries for "E-Books" and "Software Installs")
- Seems to use less memory than Vista.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard

Reviews Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard



Products by Apple

Platform: Apple

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Product Details


* Mac OS X Snow Leopard is built on a rock-solid, time-tested UNIX foundation that provides unparalleled stability as well as industry-leading support for Internet standards
* Mac OS X Snow Leopard includes built-in support for the latest version of Microsoft Exchange Server, so you can use Mail, iCal, and Address Book at home and at work
* Improvements include a more responsive Finder, new look and features for Exposé and Stacks, quicker Time Machine backup, faster common tasks and installation, a smaller install footprint, and plenty more
* With virtually no effort on your part, Mac OS X protects itself--and you--from viruses, malicious applications, and other threats
* New core technologies unleash the power of today's advanced hardware technology and prepare Mac OS X for future innovation: 64-bit computing, multicore-optimization, OpenCL, QuickTime X, and more


# Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
# Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.


>> more details..

Reviews Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard


Very impressive:
1) File compression is also faster by 10-15%

2) Opening large photos is faster in preview mode

3) Quicktime uses significantly less CPU on all Macs regardless of generation. Older Macs benefit the most with as much as 40% performance gains.

4) Boot times are faster with Snow Leopard by 5-10%; Shut down times are slightly faster as well.

5) Snow Leopard itself installs faster than Leopard

6) Time Machine backups take about 20% less time

THE DIFFERENCE IS NOT THAT DRASTIC
The differences between Apple's "Tiger" OS (10.4) and "Leopard" (10.5) were very noticeable, and there were many improvements that made the upgrade worthwhile. Such as Time Machine, Boot Camp, Quick Look, and many more The bulk of changes between Leopard (10.5) and this latest release, "Snow Leopard" (10.6), are "under the hood" so to speak, and therefore the average user might not notice as much of a change as they'd expect with an OS upgrade. But then again, why fix a bone that's not broken? Leopard was a success, and Snow Leopard improves on it, without radically altering the user experience. The majority of improvements affect system reliability, speed, and resourcefulness. There is also Microsoft Exchange support, which is great for those who need it.

Additionally, while I personally upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard, it is nice to know that even if you weren't using OS 10.5 (Leopard) and were still on OS 10.4 (Tiger), you can upgrade directly to OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

EXPERIENCE
I have only installed it on only one computer so far (running on an Intel chip and 4GB of RAM), but installation was a breeze, and Snow Leopard has been running smoothly so far. I previously strongly disliked `Preview' and `Quicktime' since they were so slow (I preferred freeware `Xee' and `VLC Media Player'). With Snow Leopard, loading times have noticeably improved for both Preview and Quicktime. I haven't yet noticed other improvements in speed, but that might be because my computer was already fast to begin with (4GB is great!).

EXPECTATIONS
I bought the Snow Leopard upgrade knowing full well it wasn't going to be a drastically different OS, so I was by no means disappointed. I've been following the tech news regarding Mac and Windows operating system upgrades very closely, and am well aware that August's release of Apple's Snow Leopard and October's release of Microsoft's
Windows 7 are meant to provide additional stability and implement greater resourcefulness, rather than completely overhaul the user experience. This isn't a bad thing, since greater system reliability is more important than adding bells and whistles that ultimately take away from the user experience (i.e. Vista).

LAST THOUGHTS
I didn't have issues with Leopard, so I don't think Snow Leopard was to me as essential an upgrade as Windows 7 will be to Windows Vista. That being said, Snow Leopard is a very strong and reliable OS, so I don't regret my purchase. The low price makes this an affordable upgrade solution, but due to the lack of drastic changes between Snow Leopard and its predecessor, one that isn't absolutely necessary.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reviews Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium



Products by Microsoft

Platform: Windows 7

>> more details..






Product Details

* Easily create a home network and connect your PCs to a printer with HomeGroup
* Make the things you do every day easier with improved desktop navigation
* Start programs faster and more easily, and quickly find the documents you use most often
* Windows 7 Home Premium (includes 32-bit & 64-bit versions) makes it easy to create a home network and share all of your favorite photos, videos, and music--you can even watch, pause, rewind, and record TV
* Make your web experience faster, easier and safer than ever with Internet Explorer 8

* Platform: Windows 7
* Media: DVD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1


# Product Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 2 inches
# Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
# Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.

>> more details..

Reviews Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium


#1 VIRTUAL LIBRARIES
With virtual libraries, the special folders like Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos have all become libraries. Instead of being a physical storage location, they're indexes that point to one or many locations on the computer you're using, as well as other computers you're networked with. In a home setting, where you're running Windows Home Server, you can now easily direct file stores to your server. Also in the home, housemates can easily see each others' data by including their respective folders in one another's libraries. When you search a library, you're searching your computer and any other computer that has folders you've added to your library. You determine which physical location will be the default location for saving new files to your library. This is, for me, the single best feature of Windows 7, and is an excellent reason to upgrade.

#2 START SEARCH
The Start Search has been improved in Windows 7 so results appear instantly as soon as you click the Start button, and then either type the name of a program on your computer, or a task you'd like to perform (like, "change my display settings"). No more hunting folder hierarchies to find that elusive program, or spend time figuring out where Microsoft has placed something in the Control Panel. This is a tremendous time-saver.

#3 AERO SNAP
The Aero user interface has three new tricks -- Shake, Peek, and Snap -- but only Aero Snap is a major leap forward. Have you ever tried comparing the contents of two windows together, side-by-side? It's painful to do because you have to fiddle with resizing the two windows. With Aero Snap, now all you do is grab the title bar of one window, sling it to the left, and Windows 7 will automatically resize the window to fill-up one-half of your screen display. Do the same with a 2nd window by slinging it to the right, and it'll fill-up the right-side of your display. You can start comparing two windows in...an Aero Snap. Aero Shake and Peek are cute, but not nearly so helpful.

#4 TASKBAR
Gone is the Quick Launch bar that too many people didn't know existed. Now, the whole Taskbar is a quick launch bar -- drag and drop any program icon onto the bar, and you're one click away from starting the program. Also, it's so easy to move the taskbar around now. I keep it on the left vertical on my computer. Gone is the system tray, too -- Notification Area takes its place. The Action Center alerts you to anything you need to do to keep your computer working smoothly.

#5 PROGRAM COMPATIBILITY
Any program can be run in one of many compatibility modes now. Windows 7 has a wizard that will help you pick the right, earlier version of Windows under which to run an older program -- just right-click on the program icon and choose "Troubleshoot Compatibility". Or, You can do the same thing more quickly by right-clicking on a program icon, click the Compatibility tab, enable Compatibility mode, and select the earlier version of Windows you want to run with your program.

#6 STICKY NOTES
Less functional that the Vista Sticky Notes -- which nobody used -- but now I actually use Sticky Notes to put reminders on my Desktop. They're quick, easy, and work just like a regular Post-It note only you don't get fingerprints on your screen!

#7 JUMP LISTS
There are two kinds -- Jump lists that let you quickly pick a task to perform, and Jump lists to quickly select a document to open and edit in the associated program. Jump lists include most recently used files, or you can pin your own files, too. These are nice time-savers.

#8 SAVED SEARCHES
In Windows Explorer, you can create filtered searches and then save them in your Favorites for later use. This is handy to find filtered data in the future. When you re-execute the search, it creates a dynamic results set (so your search is never stale).

#9 CONTENT VIEW & ARRANGING
Also in Windows Explorer, two new features. Now you can arrange a folder into subdivisions by date (great for your pictures folders!). You can use the Content view to combine thumbnails of files along with details that usually are found only in the Details view.

#10 USER ACCOUNT CONTROL
Most everyone hated UAC in Vista (even though it helped to keep your computer safe). In Windows 7, Microsoft tamped down the annoyance factor of UAC. You can change your date and time without setting off UAC, for example. You can also decide whether UAC should go into secured Desktop mode whenever it does get triggered (secured Desktop is when your screen darkens and you're forced to respond to UAC's dialog box asking permission to run a program or make a change to your system). You can easily turn-off UAC, too.

#11 PAINT, WORDPAD, CALCULATOR
All three of these utilities got updated. Wordpad and Paint have the Office-like "ribbon" now, and Calculator has a few new memory keys, touch sensitivity, and a Programmer view for those dealing with hexidecimals and binaries.

#12 HOMEGROUP SHARING
This is the easiest way to share data with others in your (home) network. HomeGroup creates a password that is shared among computers, and that takes care of all the issues with user accounts, file permissions and "access denied" problems. This is great for unsophisticated home networks. I made this feature last because I'm not using it -- I just think it's a great idea for inexperienced users. Note: all the networked computers need to be running Windows 7 to make HomeGroup sharing work.

Reviews Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007



Products by Microsoft

Platform: Windows Vista / XP

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Product Details

* Includes 2007 versions of Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote
* Essential software suite for home computer users makes it a pleasure to complete schoolwork and other tasks
* Work with confidence and security thanks to the improved automatic Document Recovery tool and the Document Inspector tool, which removes personally identifiable information from your document
* Intuitive user interface that exposes commonly used commands; updated graphics and formatting galleries help you to easily produce high-quality documents
* Enhanced Help system includes online tutorials with step-by-step instructions; includes OneNote, a digital notebook that helps you gather, organize, and search many types of information in one place

* Platform: Windows Vista / XP
* Media: CD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1


# Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
# Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.


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Reviews Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007


Microsoft offers 2007 the "ribbon", a new and more intuitive to access features that we used to find in the menus. While the features are basically the same, they are now grouped according to when and how you would normally use. The program ran fine on my Win XP laptop, which had RAM 512MB , and it works even better on my Vista laptop with RAM 2 GB . Microsoft offers 2007 groups are accessible by clicking on tabs that are arranged in the order you want to use. The best way to get a better understanding of this change is to check the screenshots, or download a free trial version of Microsoft Office.

I know other software has allowed this for sometime, but the ability to make a document that will launch in Adobe Reader with all the functionality of Word or Excel is something I've been waiting for. I'm surprised no one is talking about the ability to save documents in .pdf (what was once exclusive to Adobe).