Natural Reader 7 Review

I remember, a while ago I admit, the first time I heard computer generated speech. I think it was an early version of the text to speech generator which everyone immediately associates with Professor Stephen Hawking, the guy who invented time. Though it was novel at the time, unless you were in dire need of something which could communicate verbally on your behalf, the practical applications were somewhat limited. Continue reading →

DISKTRIX ULTIMATE DEFRAG 1.72 (Free Version)

Over time, as you write, move and delete files to, between and from your drives, inevitable fragmentation occurs; however, as Windows will happily write files into any old bit of free space it finds first, whether it’s contiguous or otherwise, there’s little you can do about it at the time of writing, moving or deleting.

Although a little fragmentation of scarcely accessed files is hardly likely to affect system performance to any noticeable degree, as time goes on, the degree of fragmentation will become greater and system performance, specifically the time it takes to seek, read and write files, will start to suffer. It might only be by milliseconds, but they do add up. Continue reading →

Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional Review

Most of us have, at one time or another, deleted some files convinced that we don’t need them anymore, or have already backed them up to another location, only to realise later that we hadn’t finished with them and hadn’t backed them up either.

Luckily, there’s the Recycle Bin, to which most deleted files which are moved until such time as you actually empty the bin, or from where you can recover the file you accidentally deleted. Unless, of course, the files you deleted were on a USB drive or camera memory card, for instance.

In such a situation, all is not lost, and you can make use of a data recovery program, such as the one we’ll look at here, Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional. Continue reading →

Avast Antivirus 6 Ultimate Review

I first came across a computer virus, the SCA virus I recall on the Amiga about 25 years ago. It did little more than infect the floppy disk boot sector and announce your computer is alive. It seemed quite novel at the time, but things have changed considerably since then. The argument that anti-corporate, anti-big brother hackers burning the midnight oil coding programs designed to turn people against the omnipresent Microsoft menace has long since been abandoned and, nowadays, its pretty obvious that there’s something much more sinister going on. Continue reading →

The history of Winamp!

No history of digital audio is complete without mentioning Winamp. Nullsoft’s iconic media player was by far the most popular during the so called “mp3 revolution” at the turn of the century, and achieved somewhat of a cult status amongst a whole generation of music-loving computer geeks. This was largely due to its ease of use, its customization ability and its strong plug-in architecture, which set trends still seen in today’s applications.

However, Winamp has seen its fair share of controversies. Versions that were supposed to have been updates often offered reduced functionality or included ad-ware, and users often chose to remain with technically outdated versions. Perhaps uniquely in application development history, Continue reading →