Why spend big bucks on graphics software when you can get many, if not most, of the same features from freeware? Here are three mui-expensive graphics apps and their free counterparts:Adobe Illustrator Available for Windows only, Creative Docs .NET (yeah, weird name) is a vector-based graphic design tool for creating illustrations, manuals, flow charts, icons, and the like. It offers advanced features like Bezier curves, styles, convert-to-curves, and curved-path text. Adobe Photoshop You've actually got two choices here: GIMP, which is available for all platforms, and Paint.NET, which is Windows-only. Both programs offer powerful, Photoshop-caliber image-editing tools, … Read more
Remember the Brother HL-2170W from a couple months ago? It's a small-footprint, small-office laser printer that offers both Ethernet and Wi-Fi network connectivity. (USB, too.) Now it's 20 bucks cheaper, selling for just $79.99 shipped from Newegg. (Make sure to use coupon code EMCAJCBBF to get 10 bucks off the listed price.) It's a new unit, not a refurb, and you don't have to deal with any rebates.
My original post has all the deets you need on this printer, which remains a favorite in the Cheapskate household. It's rare enough to find an … Read more
Head to your local Target to scoop up an Epson Stylus CX7450 multifunction printer for the impossibly good price of $29 (plus tax). It prints, copies, and scans in color, employs a smart ink system, and doesn't require you to wait on a rebate.
Compatible with both Windows and Mac systems, the CX7450 employs four separate ink cartridges (one each for black, cyan, magenta, and yellow) and promises print speeds of up to 28 pages per minute. It includes a memory-card reader, a 120-sheet paper tray, and fairly basic scan/copy features. Alas, it lacks an LCD for previewing … Read more
If you decided to take advantage of Tuesday's mention of an Xbox 360 deal and plan to utilize the console's media-center features, you'll want a good remote to go with it. Look no further than the Logitech Harmony Advanced Universal Remote for Xbox 360, which eCost has on sale for $49.99 (plus shipping).
In case you're not familiar with the Harmony line of remotes, their claim to fame is browser-based programming, which makes for relatively easy setup of devices, activities, and so on. Plus, they have built-in onscreen help, which is great for visiting babysitters, … Read more
I admit it: That headline is a bit misleading. But let me 'splain. Not many people know that the Xbox 360 can double as a media-center extender, meaning it can stream to your TV all the videos, photos, music, and whatnot stored on your PC. To my thinking, it's superior to all the standalone extender products because a) It's cheaper; and b) It's an Xbox! (As you might have heard, they're not bad with the games.)
All of which brings us to my bit of headline trickery: CompUSA has refurbished Xbox 360 Core systems on sale for $169.99 (… Read more
I'm hoping this is the start of a trend. Last week we had a 22-inch Soyo LCD monitor for $179.99 shipped, no rebates required. On Monday, Buy.com has a 22-inch AOC Envision LCD monitor for $179.99 shipped, and it's even better: Unlike the Soyo, it supports HDCP. That means if you plug it into a PC equipped with a Blu-ray drive, you'll have no trouble watching movies.
In other respects, the AOC stacks up nicely. It has a native resolution of 1,680 by 1,050 (not quite 1,080p, but more than sufficient … Read more
Hey, remember the KWorld PlusTV ATSC 340U? (With a name like that, how could you forget?) It's a TV tuner that plugs into a USB port and pulls down over-the-air HD signals or unencrypted QAM signals (which are delivered via cable). The last time I posted it, Newegg was selling it for $14.99 after rebate, plus six bucks for shipping. Well, now you can get it for $14.99 after rebate, plus zero bucks for shipping!
This would make a killer second tuner for anyone already running, say, Windows Media Center with an analog tuner. The PlusTV is … Read more
Some deals don't need much in the way of explanation, like the PQI i221 4GB USB flash drive. SuperMediaStore has it on sale, today only, for $9.99 with free ground shipping. 'Nuff said?
Well, maybe a few deets are in order. The drive "can use strap," whatever that means, and includes a three-mode LED status indicator. It's compatible with all operating systems and comes with a lifetime warranty.
I think the PQI looks cooler than most flash drives, though three reviewers on the SuperMediaStore site seriously disliked it, citing slow performance and an easily lost … Read more
I'll never buy another printer that requires a cable. Wireless printing, that's the ticket. Fortunately, you don't have to pay a premium for this enviable capability, as evidenced by Dell's V305w--an all-in-one model currently on sale for $79.
Shipping is free (make sure to choose three-to-five day delivery at checkout), though you'll probably have to pony up a few bucks for sales tax.
The Wi-Fi-enabled V305w features a 100-sheet input tray, borderless photo printing up to 8.5 inches by 14 inches, and media-card slots for printing photos without your PC. (Alas, there's no … Read more
ZoneAlarm ForceField is a new security utility that promises bulletproof protection against browser-related threats. It normally sells for $29.95, but Check Point Software is offering it absolutely free, today only, as part of a Patch Tuesday promotion.
The software relies on a technique called "virtual browsing" to protect your PC against unauthorized downloads, malware installations, phishers, keyloggers, and the like. It also promises total privacy by erasing the (virtual) browser's cache, cookies, history, and passwords. According to Check Point, the program won't interfere with any existing security software you might already have.
I haven't … Read more