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Archives for June, 2009

TeamViewer

TeamViewer is a simple and fast solution for remote control, desktop sharing and file transfer that works behind any firewall and NAT proxy. To connect to another computer just run TeamViewer on both machines without the need of an installation procedure. With the first start automatic partner IDs are generated on both computers. Enter your partner’s ID into TeamViewer and the connection is established immediately. With over 15 million users TeamViewer is a standard tool to give support and assistance to people in remote locations. The software can also be used for presentations, where you can show your own desktop to a partner. TeamViewer is completely free for private use.

Version 4.1.6320 has fixed possible crash on program startup using Windows 98 or Windows ME and improved support for Windows 7.

TeamViewer is an excellent screen-sharing and file-transfer app that can be used to facilitate business collaborations as well as helping distraught relatives diagnose and cure computer problems. Along with being free for noncorporate use, it gives users precisely the tools they need to share screens securely, send files with a minimum of hassle, control access rights, and even flip which user has control.

The options available while you’re in control work smoothly. You can maximize the pane that the other computer’s screen is visible in, as well as utilize several smart options from a drop-down toolbar in the center of the window. A big X lets you close the connection, while the Actions button lets you switch whose in control, disable remote input, and reboot remotely. The View menu hides options to adjust the screen resolution, the optimization toward speed or quality, and control multiple-monitor displays.

When you log in, you’re given an access code and a password. Sharing those allows your computer to be controlled by the level you set it to: remote support, presentation, file transfer, or VPN. The TeamViewer servers remember which computers you’ve connected to, so reconnecting to previously shared computers happens faster. TeamViewer also has a Web-based version, for remote connecting to home from public computer. Even the installation process is impressive. Users can toggle admin rights, can opt out of running at startup, and can opt into installing the TeamViewer VPN driver for more secure screensharing. Overall, TeamViewer makes screensharing and file-sharing as fluid and unobtrusive as it should be.

 License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

Download Now (1.97 MB)

Google Desktop

Google Desktop will offer full text search over your email, computer files, chats, and the web pages you’ve viewed. By making your computer searchable, it puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails, and bookmarks. It introduces new ways to access relevant and timely information. When you view a web page in Internet Explorer, it caches or stores its content so that you can later look at that same version of the page, even if its live content has changed or you’re offline. It organizes email search results into conversations, so that all email messages in the same thread are grouped into a single search result.

Simple, small, and free, Google Desktop indexes your hard drive the way Google’s own servers index the Web. Your search results are returned in a Web-page format that looks very similar to the Google Web site. The application’s sidebar regularly updates the status of your e-mail, photos, RSS feeds, and weather.

Although the initial indexing period can crawl–especially if you have a lot of e-mail, contacts, chat transcripts, and documents for it to parse through–it’s well worth the wait to be able to search any of them from a text entry box that’s installed next to the Quick Launch bar. You’ll still find the same basic gadget content: a music player, sports and stock tickers, a file shredder, and wackier items like an interactive plant. We like the Desktop sidebar’s built-in to-do list, notepad, and the capability to integrate other gadgets with ease.

Version 5 is fully compatible with Windows Vista, emulating the rounded corners and translucent panels and capable of overriding the native Vista sidebar. There’s also cross-indexing for multiple machines and sharing panel items directly with friends. The sharpest new feature is the preview window for search results, which saves a lot of time on clicking, opening, and closing. Version 5.8.811 adds support for Windows XP SP3 and Firefox 3, and adds a preference to display the deskbar on the left of the taskbar.

 

License: Free

Limitations: No limitations

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Advanced SystemCare Free

Slow down, freeze, crash, and security threats are over. Advanced SystemCare Free is a comprehensive PC care utility that takes a one-click approach to help protect, repair, and optimize your computer. It provides an all-in-one and super convenient solution for PC maintenance and protection. All work will be done with 1 click and 1 minute. Compared with its nearest competitor, Advanced SystemCare Free provides the more essential and practical formula for Windows: Removing Spyware and Adware, Preventing Security Threats, Privacy Protection, Fixing Registry Errors, Temporary Files Cleanup, Startup Cleanup, Repairing Windows, Speeding up System and 1-click Mechanism.

This utility offers a one-stop-shop for cleaning and maintaining your computer for better overall system performance. The interface is very simple, featuring only a few buttons, which makes it easy to get down to cleaning immediately (in fact, it automatically runs on start-up) and doesn’t confuse you with multiple steps.

The Maintain Windows section focuses on four areas of maintenance: spyware removal, Registry cleaning, a privacy sweep, and deletion of junk files. The Diagnose System button provides system optimization tools, detects spyware, defragments your disk, and scans for hijacked Windows settings. In our tests the scan and clean for each of these areas took less than 10 minutes to complete. In many of these scans, it is difficult to tell what exactly is being accomplished by some of the tools, but we were able to test against other trusted apps, which confirmed Advanced SystemCare’s efficacy in those areas.

Under the utilities section you are given several tools, which are similar to plug-ins, for other areas of optimization and diagnostic tests. Overall, Advanced SystemCare Free is a good way to maintain your system’s speed and clear out junk files, but you’ll need to remember to run it regularly because scheduling of scans is only available in the paid Pro version.

Windows 7 is the updated version of the Vista operating system from Microsoft. It was built around feedback from users and has been developed to work with touch screen controls, among other features.

However, because Microsoft isn’t providing technical support for the Beta, we strongly recommend that only experienced computer users sign up. How experienced? At minimum, you should be comfortable backing up a computer, formatting a hard drive, burning an ISO file to DVD, and installing an operating system from scratch. You should also be comfortable troubleshooting problems on your own. If you’ve not used beta software before, please read the warning messages and make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Windows 7 provides an improved taskbar and full-screen previews. Jump Lists put the documents you want handy and the ones you’ve used recently a couple clicks away. Desktop enhancements simplify how you work with the windows on your desktop. You’ll have more intuitive ways to open, close, resize, and arrange them. Introduced with Windows Vista, Windows Search helps you find virtually anything on your PC quickly and easily. Windows 7 also makes search results more relevant and easier to understand. Available now, Internet Explorer 8 helps you do what you want online, faster. With Windows 7, you’ll use a single Devices and Printers screen to connect, manage, and use whatever printers, phones, and other devices you have on-hand.

 CNET REVIEW

 

License: Free to try

Additional Requirements:

1GB RAM (32-bit) / 2GB RAM (64-bit), 16GB disk space (32-bit) / 20GB (64-bit), DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0

Limitations: No limitations

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