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More Software Opinion

  • Opinion: Make a Better Black-and-White Photo

    There are a lot of things you can do to your photos with a single click in your photo editing program. Last week, for example, I showed you how you can use the Color Replacement tool in Adobe Photoshop Elements to change specific colors in an image. And in the past, I've explained how easy it is to convert any photo to a stylish black-and-white composition by setting the saturation to zero in any image editor.

  • Opinion: Lion, Time Machine, the death of the iPhoto interface

    Reader Ian Martin is perplexed by one of Lion’s “features.” He writes:

  • Opinion: Soothe Sore Eyes With Fluxs Time-Sensitive Lighting

    When you spend more than 10 hours a day staring at a computer screen, you’ll welcome anything that can help reduce the risk of eye strain. A cool cross-platform utility called F.lux can do just that.

  • Opinion: Open Finder folder in Terminal

    We've published a variety of hints over the years about opening a Terminal window that's already focused on the folder of your choosing. But Hints reader ceej discovered that Apple's built a new Service into Lion that can make this task even simpler.

  • Opinion: Freebie PC Wizard Tells You What Device Manager Can't

    Contrary to the implications of its moniker, there's really no wizardry involved with PC Wizard. Unless of course you consider a comprehensive querying and report on your system's hardware magic. This free utility from CPUID relays a lot, and I mean a lot of info. Much of said info may be found in Windows Device Manager, but a lot of it can't.

  • Opinion: Is Cloud-Based Backup Safe?

    Melissa has her doubts about backing up online. "With hackers now able to hack into government and large holding companies' computers, wouldn't I also be at risk?"

  • Opinion: Design a Vegetable Garden With PlanGarden

    As someone who gets itchy (green) thumbs around mid-winter, PlanGarden sounds like my dream software. Starting with a plot size as large as five acres, you can use PlanGarden ($20, limited demo) to draw your envisioned garden beds, lay out all of your imagined plants including plant spacings, set frost dates and indoor starting dates, and start a daily PlanGarden log. When you're ready to plant, use PlanGarden to track varieties, amount planted (by plant, row, or area), date planted, and estimated days to harvest. PlanGarden has a harvest log too, so you can track how much you gather from each plant. Unfortunately, overly basic features and a clumsy interface make PlanGarden somewhat less than dreamy.

  • Opinion: Microsoft Camera Codec Pack

    One of the best things about digital SLR cameras and higher-end point-and-shoot cameras is the ability to shoot in RAW mode. RAW images give you uncompressed, data-heavy versions of your digital photos that can be used for intensive edits and adjustments without negatively impacting the image quality.

  • Opinion: File Expert Offers Wireless Sharing With File Manager

    Last week, I looked at a great free app for Android, WiFi File Explorer, which lets you share files between your phone directly over a local Wi-Fi connection. This week, I'm looking at another great app that does all that and more.

  • Opinion: Free WinSplit Revolution Makes Monitor(s) More Useful

    Ever since the dawn of Windows, a big part of the appeal was… well, windows. Being able to give each application its own area on the screen and run multiple applications at the same time completely transformed computing. But that’s old news; today, many of us have 24” monitors (sometimes more than one), and the challenge is how to use all of that screen space effectively. With the free WinSplit Revolution, you can make sure every inch of your monitor or monitors is displaying valuable information.

  • Opinion: Pin Folders to the Windows 7 Taskbar

    Readers are so much smarter than me. (Don't tell my boss.) Take Renee, who wrote in regarding a post from last week: Create a Keyboard Shortcut for Your Favorite Folder. In it I noted that Windows 7 doesn't allow you to pin folders to the Taskbar, hence the advice to set up a keyboard shortcut instead.

  • Opinion: Google's Photovine app shares themed photos

    Although the new Photovine iPhone app in the App Store appears to be from a developer of the same name, it’s actually a Google joint. (Google owns Photovine.) It’s a free app for photo sharing that seems to fall somewhere between Instagram and Color.

  • Opinion: Bugs & Fixes: How best to restore an OS X Lion drive

    If you ever need to restore the entire contents of an OS X Lion startup drive, or just perform a reinstall of the OS, you’ll find that there are numerous ways to accomplish these tasks. In fact, there are so many permutations, that I began to lose count after awhile. Trying to figure out the best method for your situation can get a bit tricky.

  • Opinion: Tracks for iPhone

    The photo sharing app Tracks from Tracks Media wants to be a hub for social photography, but it needs to expand its reach first.

  • Opinion: Hibernate After Sleep

    I'm not answering a reader question this time; just passing on some useful information.

  • Opinion: WebOS: What Went Wrong?

    HP announced Thursday that it will discontinue its WebOS line of devices, which includes the HP Veer 4G, the HP Touchpad and the yet-to-be-released HP Pre 3 smartphone. The death of WebOS devices is sad, yet unsurprising news. The entire journey of the WebOS has been marred by pitfalls since the very beginning--and things only got worse over time.

  • Opinion: NYC Wants Pay-By-Phone Parking Meters

    Searching your car's change compartment for quarters may soon become obsolete in New York City, where plans are underway to let drivers pay parking meters by cellphone.

  • Opinion: InterFAX Adds Faxing From Google Docs

    As much as it baffles me that fax machines still exist in the 21st century, I still have a handful of business contacts who rely on--nay, stubbornly insist on--fax machines for important business communications. While this has become rare in the tech world, where sentient beings have long since abandoned faxes for PDFs and email, many independent contractors in a variety of fields still force their clients to fax important documents.

  • Opinion: Keep Your Wi-Fi Secure, Quick Windows Tips

    For many years, I didn't bother protecting my home network--even though PCWorld colleagues like Nick Mediati have some great tips on doing just that (see "How to Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Network"). Call me crazy, but I didn't see the need.

  • Opinion: It's Clear Why Software Patents Need to Disappear

    If there's any lesson to be learned from Google's news-making activities these past few days, it's that software patents are a problem.



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