Balabolka Portable is a fully functional yet totally portable version of Balabolka, a free text-to-speech (TTS) application. Balabolka means "chatterer" in Russian, and this program lives up to the name. It's based on the Microsoft Speech API (SAPI) and its default voice is Microsoft Anna, but it's compatible with a wide range of voices, including high-quality simulations that can cost quite a bit. You can customize the voice, the TTS properties, and the interface. As we noted, it's totally portable, with everything you need to use it contained in one download. You can carry it … Read more
After years of using Windows, most people find that Windows Explorer and its hierarchical folders is a pretty intuitive way to organize and accessing files. For those users interested in trying something different, however, there's Circle Dock 32bit. This attractive desktop enhancement lets users arrange files in circular orbits, a novel and potentially very useful way to organize things.
The program's interface is attractive, consisting of a light blue ring with a bubble-like graphic in the middle. Right-clicking on this graphic brought up a menu with a variety of options, and at that point we decided that we … Read more
Windows' built-in Disk Cleanup tool does a pretty good job, but it's designed to be as easy and harmless as possible, and many users prefer a third-party tool. Disk Cleaner is a free, open-source, standalone hard-disk cleaning utility that's designed to be fast and easy to use yet thorough in its operation.
We ran the Windows Disk Cleanup tool before running Disk Cleaner to better gauge Disk Cleaner's supposed advantages. Amazingly, the Windows utility quit working during the cleanup process, despite a robust system that was fairly clean to begin with. We then ran Disk Cleaner, which … Read more
Since so many of us spend so much time on our computers now, it makes sense to have a quick and easy way to take notes there, whether we're recording a great idea or just a reminder to buy milk. Efficient Notes Free gives peoplea way to write themselves notes, but it's not as useful as some similar programs we've seen.
The program's interface reminds us very much of Microsoft Outlook. The screen is split horizontally into two panes, with the top pane displaying each note's title and the bottom pane displaying the selected note'… Read more
Update: Microsoft has released another update for Office 2004 (version 11.6.2) which corrects this problem.
On Tuesday, Microsoft released updates for both Microsoft Office 2004 and 2008 to correct some security vulnerabilities in the software, but a number of people are having difficulties opening some Excel spreadsheets in Office 2004 after the update.
As mentioned by CNET member and MacFixIt reader Kurt in the comments of our article announcing the update:
"After applying the update yesterday, some Excel documents refuse to open. For a fraction of a second the open progress bar shows up, then nothing happens.&… Read more
PDF files are a part of just about everybody's life now, but many people don't have applications that are capable of doing much with these files besides viewing them. Quick PDF Tools is a small suite of utilities that lets users do more with their PDF files than just look at them. It's not the most feature-filled program we've ever seen, but it's not a bad choice if you're looking to perform a few basic tasks with your PDFs.
The program appears in the Windows context menu, so all you have to do is … Read more
If you're looking for one-stop shopping on your iPhone, Amazon's app is about as representative of a Web site as one can find in a mobile app. You'll need a strong data or Wi-Fi connection to troll Amazon's vast database of merchandise, but if you do, you'll be be able to easily find anything you need that the retail giant can sell. Deals, recommendations, and other tools you find on the online site have also made it into this app, and you can log in to see your wish lists and shopping cart. Moreover, you … Read more
WinCatalog Light is a free disk cataloging tool that scans and catalogs your system's disks or files. You can use the listings it creates to quickly find specific files in your disk collection without having to insert a bunch of removable disks and search them one by one. It also extracts file descriptions and automatically fetches MP3 song names online. It can scan any storage device that Windows can access.
WinCatalog Light's interface is a slightly smaller version of the familiar Windows app style: File menu, icon-based toolbar, left-hand navigation panel, and main window. With a pretty good … Read more
Energy drinks maker Red Bull, which is sponsoring the effort, said today that it is stopping the program "with immediate effect" pending the outcome of a "multimillion dollar lawsuit" filed earlier this year by a man claiming certain rights to the project.
Working under the auspices of the Red Bull Stratos program, Baumgartner was aiming to be the first person ever to hit supersonic speeds in the atmosphere without the protection of an aircraft around him. The Austria-born daredevil, who … Read more
Almost a month ago to the day, I reported that hackers had found a way to jailbreak iOS 4.1--and asked if it was worth the hassle anymore. That question generated lots of great discussion, and now is the perfect time to revisit it.
That's because an iOS 4.1 jailbreak, Limera1n, is now in the wild. Unlike the JailbreakMe hack that made jailbreaking iOS 4.0 as simple as loading a URL in your iPhone's browser, Limera1n requires a PC and a download--one that's currently available for Windows only.
To use the hack, start by … Read more