iCall is a video and audio call utility that works on Windows and Macs, as well as most mobile devices. iCall supports free calling (including conference calls up of to 10 people) anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, or international calls for a fee. There are also some pay-as-you-go capabilities so you can select the options that suit your needs, or there's an "everything" package called iCall Total Access. iCall can also assign you a free phone number to allow others to call you. The software downloads and installs easily, but you need to set up … Read more
What's the biggest threat to your data? Is it snooping, or device theft, or hacking, or simple carelessness? How about all of the above? Suppose you could lock down your files, folders, drives, and devices with password protection; encrypt critically important data on the fly; store it on your smartphone or thumbdrive; and back it all up to a secure online storage locker that automatically syncs data and lets you access it on mobile devices? We'll tell you now that we're referring to one utility, Folder Lock, before we continue enumerating its features, which also include stealth … Read more
Sticky notes are a great way to keep track of phone messages, to-do lists, and all the other bits and pieces of information that accumulate over the course of the day. It's no surprise that these little pieces of paper have gone virtual, and there are now numerous programs that let you place digital sticky notes right on your computer's desktop. Stickies Portable does a great job of combining useful features with a straightforward interface, presenting you with tools you actually need and eliminating the superfluous options that many other sticky note programs include. We think it's … Read more
M4A is the file extension for MPEG-4 Audio, the audio part of your MPEG-4 videos. Apple has used the M4a (small "a") designation for several of the low-loss audio formats it's sold for years at the iTunes Store. To add to the confusion, some have digital rights management encryption, and some don't. To make a long story short, compatibility is the issue, especially for people with large MP3 collections. Maniac Tools' Free M4a to MP3 Converter does what its name indicates: it converts M4a, AAC, 3GP, and MP4 Audio files to MP3s (or WAVs) that are … Read more
Countdown timer, egg timer, kitchen timer; whatever you call it, this simple gadget has applications ranging from "handy" to "essential." Since the beginning of the computer age, software versions of this common object have been keeping scientists, chefs, and busy parents on schedule; like their hardware counterparts, they employ some sort of bell or alarm signaling "time's up!" Comfort Software's Free Countdown Timer Portable is exactly what it claims to be: it's freeware that lets you set countdown timers, as many as you need, for events ranging from your next break … Read more
There are plenty of tools available for managing your budget, from the old-fashioned envelope method to Web sites that automatically import and categorize your bank transactions. Personal Budget VP falls somewhere in the middle between these two options; it lets you keep track of your budget electronically, but it requires lots of manual data entry.
Personal Budget VP's interface isn't particularly impressive, but it's easy enough to navigate. You first specify the currency you want to use and then identify income sources. Setting up the actual budget is simply a process of creating a new expense plan … Read more
Free DWG Viewer from Information Graphics lets you view AutoCAD DWG, DXF, and DWF files as well as CSF (IGC Content Sealed Format) files in Windows without AutoCAD or compatible CAD packages. It can run as a desktop application in Windows or as an ActiveX control in Internet Explorer. It offers a variety of viewing options, including accurate snap-to-geometry functionality. Free DWG Viewer is a freeware version of the developer's Brava program. The free version lacks several features, such as the ability to make markups. It also lacks a Print feature, but it does save files as JPEGs, which … Read more
You've probably heard about Windows 8 and how it brings a smartphone-like functionality to the desktop. While it's designed for touch screens, Windows 8 is supposed to offer a unified platform for all your computing devices. A big part of Windows 8 is its Metro interface, which is based on Swiss transportation signs with a heavy emphasis on typography and legibility. Metro7 is a free desktop enhancement that lets Windows 7 users try the Metro interface. It requires .NET Framework 4.
If you haven't yet seen Metro, it uses a series of rectangular and square widgets to … Read more
BlackBerry announced its 7.1 OS today, and it's loaded with several new features and upgraded apps.
As RIM tells it in the official BlackBerry blog, the philosophy behind the new version of the operating system is to help users to discover new things and make it easier for them to share these discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues.
Admittedly, some of the features are useful, though I wonder if the new OS helps users to discover what they really want, namely the upcoming BlackBerry 10!
At the top of the list of 7.1 OS' capabilities is the ability to turn your phone into a Wi-Fi router and to share that Internet access with five other Wi-Fi devices like laptops and tablets.… Read more
There certainly has not been a shortage of gaming headsets by way of third-party manufacturers in the past few years. We've seen impressive entries in the market from brands like Turtle Beach, Astro, and Logitech, all of which perform well, but are priced as high as $250. … Read more