Wednesday, July 7, 2010
CFS Weekly Newsletter #552
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COMPLETELY FREE SOFTWARE
AirStrike 3D : Operation W.A.T. v1.7 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
AirStrike 3D : Operation W.A.T. is a 3D helicopter shoot-em-up for 1 or 2 players. It has 20 missions to complete (including a tutorial mission), there are 10 helicopters to fly, 10 primary weapons to fire, 5 missile types, 3 Bosses to destroy, it has 5 levels of difficulty, 4 different cameras to choose from, a photo-realistic 3D landscape with real-time shadows, dynamic color lighting & reflections, and more. This is an excellent shooter where you complete various missions over different types of terrain with both day and night ops. There are lots of powerups to collect along the way, which give you increased health, various weapons, missiles, ammunition, etc. Control is primarily mouse controlled, though the keyboard is also used. Graphics are excellent with smooth animation and great landscapes. Most importantly, there are lots and lots of enemies to destroy. AirStrike 3D : Operation W.A.T. is a shoot-fest where you blast away at everything that moves, and many things tha
t don't. You destroy various forms of aircraft, gun emplacements, ammunition bunkers, lots of different ground vehicles, plus lots more. There always seems to be something coming at you or firing at you from the ground. If you like a fast paced, well constructed war-type shooter then AirStrike 3D : Operation W.A.T. is for you. We loved the action, we loved the graphics, we loved the explosions, and we loved the game. Grab a copy now! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 11.6MB download from:
Fences v1.01.143 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Fences is a Windows enhancement that assists in organizing the desktop by grouping icons into "fenced areas" and optionally hiding icons when not in use. It features a simple-to-use setup, you can customize color & opacity, it has low system impact, you can take & restore snapshots of your layouts for backup, and more. This is an unusual tool for "roping off your desktop" by grouping icons and folders into either automated "fences" or by manually creating "fences" and placing specific icons inside them. The author says: "Fences allows you to create shaded areas on your desktop that you can place icons in. You can label them however you wish, and move/resize them anywhere on the desktop. Pre-included layouts help speed the process for new users." While you can turn off Fences from within the program, icons are not returned to their original position and, if you use the snapshot feature to restore the original layout, there are a number of small differences which we do not find
pleasing. The only way to fully restore the original look 'n feel of the desktop is to uninstall the program. One feature we did really like about Fences was its ability to hide your desktop icons so that the wallpaper could be seen in all its glory. Those icons could be just as easily restored when they were needed. If you like to dress up your desktop then Fences is well worth checking out. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 9.03 download from:
DriveImage XML v2.14 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
DriveImage XML is a tool to backs up logical drives & partitions to XML image files, where they can be browsed, viewed, extracted or restored to the same or a different drive. It can copy drive-to-drive, it supports FAT12/16/32 & NTFS file systems, you can restore without rebooting, it can backup "hot images" (in-use drives), schedule automatic backups, and more. This is an excellent tool to carry out full drive backups, and the drives can be in use when backed up. Drive images are stored in XML files which can be read by third party tools. We were a little surprised that DriveImage XML was not only unable to backup our external USB drive, it could not back up to it either. As we specifically use this external drive for backups, this made DriveImage XML less valuable to us, even though we could manually copy across the XML, DAT, etc files created by this program to the USB drive. That aside, if you are looking for a way to back up logical drives and partitions then DriveImage
XML should be high on your list of programs to check out. Worth a look! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 1.78MB download from:
SchirmFoto v2011.8 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
SchirmFoto is a capture tool for acquiring snapshots of your screen. It features a camera icon in the titlebar of every window, you can export or e-mail the capture (to PDF, HTML, MHT, RTF, XLS or as an image), it offers zoom, scale, page setup, and more. This should be an excellent screen capture tool but, in some ways, it falls a little short of expectations. The main problem is that it does not offer hotkey or timed capturing so you can only capture a windowed program, and then only once. Click on the icon in the top left hand corner of all windows and it will capture a screenshot of that window and then open up the program to process it -- which means that you cannot take a series of screenshots from, say, a game (specially if that game is being played fullscreen so there is no titlebar). Once you have the capture, SchirmFoto does an excellent job of presenting it for you in a variety of formats -- to your printer, to the Windows Clipboard for pasting into another program
, you can export it to five different document formats or seven different image formats (BMP, EMF, WMF, GIF, JPG, PNG or TIF). This German-made program has two tabs, one is labeled "Print Preview" and the other is labeled "Seiteneinstellungen" (which Yahoo! Babel Fish translates as "Side attitudes" -- aren't you glad you asked...). Apart from the lack of hotkey capture support, SchirmFoto has a couple of bad habits. The first is that it demands that you register (which is free) but then it took a number of attempts to get the program to accept the code sent to us (it kept claiming that we hadn't registered when we had -- and the program had accepted the registration code!). Then there is the nag when you close the program says that they "expect a small tip". The program is either free or it isn't -- nagging for a donation or tip is like asking for payment to use the program. Not nice. If you don't mind the negative aspects of SchirmFoto, you will find that the screen capture is excellent and you will have lots of choices what to do with the capture. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 5.59MB download from:
Visual SlideShow v1.0 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
(image sizes, transition effect, etc) and then click on the Publish button. The final slideshow is excellent, and the machinery to run your slideshow (not counting the photos) is a tiny 110kB. By specifying the size and quality of your photos, you can reduce a multi-megabyte image down to just a few hundred kilobytes. To view the sample Visual Slideshow we created, go to http://www.thecockatoo.com/visualslideshow/ where the entire slideshow, including 18 photos and their thumbnails, is just 1.5MB. The only downside with the free version of Visual Slideshow is that there is a small watermark at the bottom of each photograph which gives the program's Web address. One of the best slideshow creation tools we have seen, Visual Slideshow is worth grabbing. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 6.26MB download from:
Cute Video Audio Merger v1.210 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (4 doves)
Cute Video Audio Merger is a tool that merges audio & video files into a single video file. It supports popular video formats (MP4, SWF, FLV, MOV, WMV, MPG, etc), supports popular audio formats (MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV, etc), carries out batch conversions, and more. Cute Video Audio Merger is very easy to use. Just select your video file, select your audio file, select the format for the merged file (MP4, SWF, FLV or WMV) and the output directory, then click Start. The resultant file has replaced the existing audio on the video with the audio file you have selected. Apart from a lack of quality controls, something we would have preferred to have seen included, Cute Video Audio Merger has one major problem -- it does not fit the length of the audio file to the length of the video file. If the audio file is shorter than the video file then there is a long painful silence after the audio has finished, and vice versa if it is too long -- the audio keeps playing but there is nothing on
the screen. Creating an audio track of the correct length is relatively easy in a good audio editor (like Audacity) so, if the important part is the length of the video (as it usually is), then you can use an audio editor to create a track to match the length of your video. Very cumbersome! We believe it would have been better if Cute Video Audio Merger could trim or extend the source audio track to match the length of the video file, possibly using a simple fade-out/fade-in transition if the track is repeated to extend its length, and an optional fade-in at the start and fade-out at the end. As it is, Cute Video Audio Merger lacks the controls to make this a really valuable tool. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 4.02MB download from:
Manage My Fonts v1.0.2010 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Manage My Fonts is a font manager. It can install & uninstall fonts, activate/deactivate fonts, manage groups of fonts, find all installed fonts, check font integrity, print typeface sample, font preview, provides information on font properties, and more. Most computers have many more fonts installed than are actually needed, and the more fonts installed, the slower the computer will boot-up. Manage My Fonts allows the users to sift through the fonts installed on the computer and uninstall or deactivate any that aren't required. It can also activate or install other fonts. Manage My Fonts has an excellent number of controls for various font displays, including viewing the font in bold, italics or with a different color, and even includes a character map for each font. Neat. Manage My Fonts is a great way to... manage your fonts (Doh!). We liked! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 610kB download from:
Mastermint v1.01 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Mastermint is a classic game of logic based off the famous Mastermind puzzle. It features sensational graphics, an automated demo mode, an optional computer-plays mode, a solution reveal (cheat), optional screensaver, a good Helpfile, and more. This is an excellent version of the popular Mastermind puzzle. In this game you must determine which four of the seven colored "mints" are used, and in what order they should be. After you have positioned your colored mints, click on the image of the foot and you will, or should, get a number of blue and red mini-mints to indicate how many of the four are the correct color (the blue mini-mints) and how many are in their correct position (the red mini-mints). Mastermint is a wonderful puzzle with some humorous touches. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 3.74MB download from:
Notation Player -- finds MIDI files on the Internet, or loads them from the hard drive, & converts them to printable music notation with amazing accuracy -- has been updated to version 2.6 with a much smaller download size of 4.48MB. The author has advised that this version improves the accuracy of MIDI-to-notation transcription. Get this latest version from:
SMILE OF THE WEEK
(contributions for this section are most welcome)
=: RETARDED GRANDPARENTS :=
(this was allegedly reported by a teacher)
After Christmas vacation, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school.
One child wrote the following :
"We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa.
They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Bateau Bay where everyone lives in nice little houses, and so they don't have to mow the grass anymore!
They ride around on their bicycles and scooters and wear name tags because they don't know who they are anymore.
They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now. They do exercises there, but they don't do them very well.
There is a swimming pool too, but they all jump up and down in it with hats on.
At their gate, there is a doll's house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts!
TO READ THE REST AND MORE SMILES CLICK HERE
Daves Computer Tips
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