This week, in our Linux Page (in Spanish), we posted a brief tutorial about installing XBMC on Ubuntu 8.10. As you certainly know, XBCM is a complete Media Center based on Ubuntu. This program is multiplatform (Linux, Windows, OS X and also XBOX – not officially supported-) and, in our opinion, is the most efficient and complete open source media center you can find today on the Internet. Moreover, XBMC has developed a special version that could be installed on a USB Key on a Live CD to freely test the application before installing on your PC. The post is brief but contains all the complete instructions to quickly install XBMC without problems. Please, be sure to digit sudo apt-get update in Terminal after you install the new repositories. Recommended!!
I strongly believe that all you know OpenDNS yet. But for the few who still do not know this powerful free online tool we have posted a brief review in our Freeware Page. OpenDNS is very easy to configure and could be very useful to bypass all the restrictions that some ISP apply in certain countries. In Ubuntu 8.04, for example you have just to substitute your ISP default DNS with OpenDNS servers (220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168) in System – Administration – Network or to read the instruction contained on the proper OpenDNS page if you prefer to use the Terminal. For Windows and Apple users, we recommend to follow the official guide for XP, Vista and OSX. Moreover, if you decide to open a free account with OpenDNS, you will able to deeply examine or better manage all your network web traffic in just few clicks. Recommended!
Today, in our Linux Page (in Spanish) we added a brief post about XBMC, the best open source (GPL), free entertainment hub you can find on internet. XBMC is really easy to install (for Linux users, especially in Ubuntu) and its features are very intuitive and simple to configure. Moreover the graphics themes are very attractive and it is able to manage many multimedia formats, “playlists, audio visualizations, slideshow and weather forecast functions”. It is also possible to add many interesting third-party plugins that you can find through a simple google query (XBMC plugin). Last, but not least, XBMC is a multiplatform software, in fact the download page contains four different versions for Windows, XBox, Linux and MAC OSX. When we compared XBMC to the Windows Media Center we did not notice any loss in this open-source media center and, honestly, we were positively impressed by all the XBMC featured we tested. Recommended!
This week, in our Freeware Page we have posted a brief review about Pictomio a very good program for “3D accelerated browsing of your photo and video”. Pictomio is more advanced than many similar software and its graphic appearance is very attractive. Pictomio has a full range of commands which allow you to easily organize and manage your photographs collections in at just few clicks. I spent, more or less, one hour to understand all (I suppose) the different features supported by this freeware and, at the end, I can say that my experience has been more than positive. What negatively surprised me is that Pictomio does not allow you to upload your images and videos to ftp servers or websites like Flickr .com. To sum up, Pictomio is something you have certainly to try because in the future with more social features it could become a benchmark for photo and video manager category. Interesting!
Today, in our Freeware Page we have posted a short but (effective) review about WinFlip: a tiny program which allows you to have the same Vista graphical interface for active windows. Personally I do not believe thatWinFlip will change your way of working with XP but it could represent a good graphical solution for all that people who want to upgrade just some XP functions without changing their OS at the moment. Last but not least, since last December, WinFlip has been included into the Vista Transformation Pack the famous compilation of programs which allows to full enjoy the main Vista graphical effects on your XP. Anyway, I believe that the installation of the complete Vista Transformation Pack could be negative (in terms of slower performances) for many computer using XP.
This week we have reviewed a useful multiplatform (Windows, Linux and OS X) software dedicated to all the people who desire read their favorite web-sites also when disconnected from the web. HTTrack is a very powerful program which contains easy (not always unfortunately) features to download complete websites and navigate them when outline. In our Freeware Page you can find a brief but incisive review about this program. Moreover for the Linux geeks, we inserted some tips (how to install and useful links) about HTTrack in our Linux Page. Sometimes the use of HTTrack could be a little difficult but after some experiments you will be able to manage it without problems. Enjoy it!
Today, in our Linux Page (in Spanish) we have post a review about Qtpfsgui: a very powerful program to create HDR images. Qtpfsgui supports the following HDR formats: OpenEXR, Radiance RGBE, Tiff (16bit, 32bit and LogLuvand), Raw image and PFS native. Obviously also LDR extensions are well managed: JPEG, PNG, PPM, PBM, and TIFF(8 bit). Using this program you can easily create terrific looking HDR files from a set of images (formats: JPEG, TIFF 8bit and 16bit, RAW) of the same scene taken at different exposure setting. The program is very easy to use and after just few minutes you learn how to use it properly. Last but not least, the Qtpfsgui website has a link to useful documentation in French and a (unfortunately missing) link for Ubuntu users.
Today, in our Linux Page (in Spanish) we have post a review about PeaZip: a terrific program which is able to solve many common problems when extracting certain types of archives such as ACE, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, ISO, Java archives (JAR, EAR, WAR), Linux installers (DEB, PET/PUP, RPM, SLP), LHA, LZH, Open Office file types, PAK/PK3/PK4, RAR, Windows installers (NSIS, some MSI), Z/TZ. This program was developed in two different versions: for Windows (XP and Vista) and for Linux. Moreover a powerful portable/standalone version (for both Windows and Linux) is available. Last but not least, using PeaZip you will be also able to create 7Z, 7Z-sfx, BZip2, GZip/TGZ, PAQ8F, PAQ8JD, PAQ8L, PEA, QUAD, split (.001), TAR, ZIP archives. In few words, PeaZip is tiny, extremely useful and easy to use program: strongly recommended!
Today in our Freeware Page, we posted a review (in Spanish) about SpaceTime: a brand new 3D tabbed “browser” which runs using the Internet Explorer 7 engine. SpaceTime has a powerful graphics and is very attractive to use but, unfortunately it needs a good hardware to run without problems: 512MB RAM, 128MD graphics adapter (3D capable), Pentium 4 2.4GHz or AMD 2400xp+, a minimum screen resolution of 1280 x 1024 and an ADSL connection to Internet. SpaceTime is in its beta version but during the tests we didn’t find any bugs. Moreover we were fascinated by its multiple features; in fact it is also possible to search (Google, Google Images, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Images, Flickr) and shop (ebay) in an delightful 3D environment. At the moment SpaceTime is available for Windows 2000, XP and Vista but “the Mac version is coming soon”. In our opinion SpaceTime is an interesting free consumer PC software application which represents the state of the art for contemporary 3D technology.
Perfect Fantasy is a nice, well shaped collection of blue and/or pink icon. This collection is very attractive and contains 62 icons in three different formats (PNG, ICO and ICNS). From the website it is possible to download also two wallpapers (blue and pink) for a perfect customization of your desktop. Last but not least, today, in our hi tech news and tips Page, we posted new links about two very interesting websites.