Computer Software

Livescribe Issues Mac OS X ‘Lion’ Compatibility Warning – Don’t Upgrade Yet!

If you depend on Livescribe Desktop on your Mac from day to day, they have some advice: don’t upgrade to Lion … yet! Here is what they are saying: Livescribe Software Notice Regarding Mac OS X Lion The current version of Livescribe Desktop 2.7.2 is not completely compatible with Apple’s new Mac OS upgrade (Lion) that will be available to the public this month. We are working hard to complete…


Open Source Media Player Review: aTunes

The trend toward strangely-capitalized programs is really annoying. The mediaplayer aTunes is trying to follow the iTunes naming model somewhat slavishly, so we’re stuck with that I suppose. Of course, that means sentences starting with the name of the program are either capitalized wrong or the word is capitalized wrong. Such choices! Installation was smooth and trouble-free, with a language selection dialog less impressive than Songbird, but sure to cover…


Open Source Media Player Review: Clementine

Clementine is a very clean-looking media player, inspired by the venerable Amarok player from Linux, and even using the Qt platform so it works in several flavors of Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. The installation is quick and simple, with no options presented to the user besides folder for the program. Unlike most media players, Clementine does not prompt the user for a music folder during the installation process….


Open Source Media Player Review: Songbird

Although you’d barely know it from the mainstream media, there are other portable audio players besides the iPod and there are other media management programs besides iTunes. There are some great freeware and commercial alternatives to iTunes. This series will focus on three of the most full-featured open-source media programs available for Windows. All of them are also available for Mac OS X, and all but Songbird are available for…


Spring Cleaning: If an App Doesn’t Work with Evernote or Dropbox? Buh-Bye!

There are specific iPad applications that are key to my productivity day in and day out, and the “qualities” they need to have if I am to use them has evolved over time. Looking back over the ways in which they have changed in the last year or so, I realized that there is a specific pattern to those applications that have become more central to my work and daily…


Ancestry.com’s Family Tree Maker for Mac Released, Thrilling Genealogy Buffs Like Me

For me, genealogy has been as much a passion as it was a hobby; my maternal grandmother and my uncle started researching their Meador and Bridwell lines years ago, and when I became an adult I picked up where they had left off, expanding the search for my father’s family, the Lipsetts and Hublers, as well. Over the years I have spent countless hours online and in libraries researching and…


Windows Software Review: Daniusoft Video Converter Ultimate Harnesses the Power of Nvidia CUDA

Image courtesy of Daniusoft With so many devices being able to replay video these days, converting and encoding is a skill that should be known. Most devices now include software to handle this task for you but sometimes it just doesn’t encode the way you want it to or simply cannot convert from the file type you have. Years ago when the copyright cracking* became an art form, people who…


MyJobChart Web Site Review: A Fun Way To Track Kids’ Chores

Anyone who is a parent knows the struggle of keeping your wonderful kiddos on top of their chores.  As the father of two young and arguably crazy boys, it seems that we could spend the entire day cleaning up their messes.  There are many strategies to getting the younglings to take care of their chores and I think I have tried them all.  The problem in my house is not…


All In For Web Based Apps: A Desktop Clean In Progress

Simplifying one’s desktop. For me it’s an ongoing, ever-changing process.  I’m constantly tinkering with new applications for my iMac, trying for that seemingly unobtainable perfect set up.  One of the biggest issues I struggle with is managing multiple windows.  I generally use five or six “main” applications on a daily basis.  These usually consist of Safari, Apple Mail, Tweetie, Net News Wire, Skype and Adium.  I’ll use other things throughout…


Review: Daniusoft Media Converter Ultimate Converter and Ripper

In case I haven’t bored you enough by mentioning it, I do a lot of travel.  Three-four times per month, I fly between my family in Austin, and my job in Sunnyvale in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I’m not complaining–at least I’ve got a job!–but it does leave me with a lot of time on my own waiting.  Waiting for planes to board, planes to get where they’re going,…


NeatDesk Review

From The Neat Company….. “The NeatDesk is a high-speed desktop scanner and digital filing system that will quickly turn all the paper on your desk into organized, digital files. More than just a great scanner, NeatDesk also includes patented NeatWorks software to identify and extract key information from your paper files, then automatically organizes it in the easy to use database.” I’ve tried a bunch of systems to manage my receipts, business cards and…


PC Tools Spyware Doctor with Antivirus Review

I used a mac exclusively for many years until I picked up my Toshiba netbook last summer. It was my first experience using a non-work issued PC since college, and while I knew to install a few free anti-virus and spyware utilities, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about security. Since then, I’ve started using my netbook far more than I expected; as a result, when Gear Diary…


PhatNotes for iPhone & iPod Touch Review

When I still regularly used a Windows Mobile device, PhatNotes by PhatWare was typically one of the first programs that I installed on a new device.  I now use an iPhone much of the time rather than Windows Mobile.  I’ve tried several notes programs for the iPhone, and while many of them are quite good, none have quite hit the mark for me.  I like being able to group notes…


Review: WinX DVD Ripper Platinum (and comparison to Free version)

Recently I was preparing to take a business trip over a weekend for a conference, and figured it would be a nice opportunity to watch a couple of DVD’s that the rest of the family didn’t have any interest in seeing yet again – Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ and The Marx Brothers’ ‘Night at the Opera’. My assumption was that I would use the Mac program Handbrake, which has done very…


Why I Love Roboform

One of my first favorite ‘free’ Internet programs was Claria’s “Gator”. What I naively found out later is, so far as I’m concerned, Gator essentially invented the Spyware industry. It originally allowed you to store passwords to all your websites so that rather than remember them, you could allow it to fill them in automatically. However, over time they started pushing pop-up ads onto your computer and started overwriting Google…


Review: SplashID 5.0 for Desktop

SplashData has been creating software for the mobile market since 2000.  Over the past 9 years, their products have expanded from the Palm OS to also include RIM, Windows Mobile, Series 60, and iPhone/iPod Touch handhelds.  SplashID, a secure wallet / password protection program, was one of their earliest offerings and continues to be a strong part of their product line. Gear Diary has taken a look at SplashID a…


Dell Remote Access

At first glance Dell Remote Access looks like any other remote access product on the market. You open a portal Page, my.dellremoteaccess.com, login and you will see a list of the devices on the same network as the computer running Dell Remote Access.


Twitter Desktop Clients for Mac, Dual Review

By now most of us are aware of Twitter.  If you’re not Twitter is a “service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” Twitter is popular.  The service doubled its user base in March alone (See this link).  And as a result, there is no shortage of desktop Twitter clients out there available…


Is 64bit Vista Ready for Prime Time?

There’s been a big push by Microsoft to get everyone to cross over to the 64bit version of Vista. Are you and your hardware ready for it? I’ve got a MacBook Pro. I purchased the notebook in December of 2006. It’s the low end unit, with a 2.16 GHz C2D processor, 4GB of RAM (yes, Leopard will see and use all 4GB of RAM, despite what you might think, or…


Review: Diskeeper’s Diskeeper Pro Premier 2008

I remember back in the day, the only tool that I knew of that actually had a defrag tool of any real value was Norton Utilities.  In fact, I believe that Stacker, a drive compression tool that provided real time, data compression and decompression (effectively doubling the size of your drive…) of data on your drive ended up using an embedded version of Norton’s defrag utility. Point being, I loved…


FotoFusion Review

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to review Adobe’s PhotoShop Elements 6, which is probably the best consumer level photo editor.  It basically takes all of the tools the pros use and bundles them into easy to use menus and wizards for the average user.  The problem I have is that even with Photoshop, I am still left with hundreds (if not thousands) of photos in my “shoebox” of…