Monday, March 31, 2008

Avast Antivirus Releases 4.8


Avast Antivirus has released version 4.8 of the free full-featured antivirus product.  With the new version comes antispyware protection and rootkit detection.  The ever-evolving world of computer security requires new levels of protection that Avast continues to offer for free to Home users.  You'll need to request a free license key by registering your email address with them.  The key is valid for a year at which time you can register for another key.  So ditch the bloated Norton and McAfee products that are sucking your system resources and install Avast.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Photoshop Express: Edit Your Photos Online


Adobe's Photoshop digital imaging software has always been the best of the best for digital image and photo editing for professionals.  Now Adobe has released a consumer-level, web-based photo editing application for the rest of us dubbed Photoshop Express.  The software is currently in beta testing and requires you to sign up for a free account to begin using the site.  Once you are signed up you get 2 GB of free online storage for your photos as well as a personalized URL to share your photos with your friends and family.

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Now Available


Windows Vista celebrated its first birthday in January 2008, and while some people are still clinging to their Windows XP security blankets computers (or even Windows 98), many people have already made the jump to Windows Vista on their PC's.  The good news for the fearful bunch out there is the Service Pack 1 is now available for Windows Vista.  Service Packs are major updates Microsoft releases that includes all previous updates as well some underlying changes to the way Windows works.  Installing Service Pack 1 is as simple as running Windows Update from your Control Panel.  Microsoft will be rolling out the Service Pack based on the compatibility of the drivers it finds in your system.  When all of the necessary components have been updated through Windows Update then it will present Service Pack 1 as an optional update.  Installing the update may take up to an hour (and up to three restarts) depending on the speed of your system. 

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Roxio versus Nero

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Two of the most popular consumer level DVD authoring programs are made by Roxio and Nero.  Roxio's Easy Media Creator and Nero's Suite are both priced around $100 and provide about the same features.  The goal of these products is to bring media management and creation to the desktop for the every day person.  With these applications you can import video and pictures from your camera, edit them, and then make your own DVD's.  While both products aim for simplicity they are in many ways complicated and buggy.  In addition the bundled software take over your computer by making itself the default application for every media file type available.  Fortunately Windows Vista Home Premium now comes with Windows Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker which should be able to meet most of the needs of the everyday person.  If you needed features beyond what Windows Vista can provide, I'd recommend going with Nero first.