SupportDetails by Imulus

Posted on 09 January 2010 by KwaxKwax

There were times when your friend asks you about a problem on her computer, and when you ask her about the operating system she doesn't know. She doesn't know about the web browser she uses, she doesn't know about the screen resolution of her computer. And the problem continues when you guide her to look for her operating system, her IP address, etc.

Thanks to Imulus, with their SupportDetails, they give you a simple service. Just enter their website, and they let you know what your operating system, web browser, IP address, javaScript status, cookie Status, Screen Resolution, Color Depth, and Flash Version.

You can even ask your friend to export her details as CSV or a PDF, and email you all the details. This may be a simple web service, but someday you'll find it useful.


iPrintApp (iPhone OS) Review

Posted on 26 August 2009 by KwaxKwax

PCMag-iPrintApp 1.0.3 from Celstream Technologies is a powerful, inexpensive printing app for the iPhone and iPod touch, but I found it to be quite buggy.

I tested the app on an original iPhone connected to a Wi-Fi network. iPrintApp is supposed to print any photo stored on your iPhone either to PostScript printers directly connected to the same Wi-Fi network or to any printer connected to a Mac on the network with Printer Sharing turned on. (PostScript is a special language used primarily by higher-end laser printers.)

The app's interface has three panes. First, in the Photos pane, you pick out photos from the phone's gallery. You can select up to 12 at a time.

Then, in the Preview pane, you arrange your photos. You can move the photos around or change their size and orientation by swiping on the screen. However, I found that control sluggish—I often had to paw at the screen before a photo grew or shrank.

Finally, you click on Print, where you can select a printer and paper type and print your sheet of photos.

Unfortunately, I had problems with almost every aspect of this app. Our office has Postscript-based Tektronix Phaser printers, but I couldn't get the app to print on those printers. I had more luck printing to Canon and Epson printers shared by nearby Macs, though it didn't work with a Brother laser printer.

Sometimes, I'd quit the app, return, and find that all my selections were doubled—it wanted to print each photo twice. Used with a Canon inkjet printer, iPrintApp would always print a blank page before its set of photos. Finally, when I asked it to print eight photos on one page, it stalled and crashed; then, when I asked it to print two photos instead, it printed the previous eight. That said, when it worked, it worked; I got decent-quality printouts of my photos through the Mac-connected inkjet printers.

Normally, I wouldn't recommend a product this buggy. But given the lack of other iPhone printing options that print easily to non-HP printers—and given iPrintApp's low $2 price—I think it's at least worth a try.


New EMC Retrospect 8.1 backup software supports PowerMac

Posted on 28 July 2009 by KwaxKwax

CNET-Owners of Time Machine-enabled Macs need not apply. But for the rest--especially small businesses that want a centralized backup solution EMC has something for you.

The company announced Tuesday the availability of its Retrospect 8.1 backup software for the Mac platform, which, unlike the previous version 8.0, now also supports the the legacy PowerPC Macs. This is good news for businesses that still have the older Mac computers.

According to EMC, on average, users of Retrospect 8.1 on Intel-based Macs can expect local backup performance to increase from 10 percent to 15 percent over version 8.0, and from 30 percent to 35 percent over version 6.1.

Performance on PowerPC systems, on the other hand, varies depending on the power and speed of the processor. If the machine run a G5 processor, for example, performance can be up to 15 percent better than version 6.1.

Other than that, version 8.1 also has a better user interface, including nicer-looking icons, improved workflow, and better responses to the user's inputs.

The new Retrospect 8.1 continues to have other features that were included in version 8.0, including:

* A customizable user interface with remote management capabilities
* The ability to perform multiple, simultaneous backup, restore, and copy operations
* Support for disk-to-disk-to-disk (D2D2D) and disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) backups
* Certified AES-256 encryption of backup data
* Support for multiple network interfaces and the ability to wake sleeping computers for backup

Other than Macs, Retrospect 8 also supports Windows Server 2003/2008 and Windows XP/Vista clients, in both physical and virtual environments, including those running within VMware Fusion and Parallels.

The new software is available now. The cheapest three-user license costs $129 and the most expensive unlimited license costs $1,669. Owners of Retrospect 8.0 can upgrade to this 8.1 version at a significantly discounted price.


Symantec's Norton 2010 Betas Go Live

Posted on 10 July 2009 by KwaxKwax

Symantec has released live betas of Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton AntiVirus 2010. The updates to Symantec's flagship antimalware products feature reputation-based security technologies as part of what the company is calling a new security model - codenamed "Quorum" - that Symantec says will 'tackle undiscovered malware and today's toughest threats head-on'.

By Matt Egan

July 07, 2009 — PC Advisor (UK) —

Symantec has released live betas of Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton AntiVirus 2010. The updates to Symantec's flagship antimalware products feature reputation-based security technologies as part of what the company is calling a new security model - codenamed "Quorum" - that Symantec says will 'tackle undiscovered malware and today's toughest threats head-on'.

Expected to launch in the autumn of this year, the 2010 models of Symantec's Norton lineup represent a radical change of approach from the world's biggest security vendor. They will all be Windows 7 compatible.

The NIS 2010 beta is available for free from, Norton AntiVirus 2010 beta: (Only those people who consider themselves sufficiently technically savvy to deal with software glitches and flaws should test beta software, particularly security software.)

Symantec says it is seeing more than 200 million online attacks each month, and that as a consequence traditional signature-based security solutions are now 'obsolete'. Due to the rapidly changing and exponential nature of the threat, it is no longer sufficient to recognise threats in the wild, and then write signatures to counter them.

"Looking at the sheer volume of infected systems in the world, one thing is resoundingly clear: basic security protection is not good enough," said Symantec senior vice presidet Rowan Trollope.

"Norton pioneered the signature-based model of security and today we're introducing a new standard that reconsiders all facets of protection.

"'Quorum' lets us stop the bad guys even if we've never seen their 'wanted' poster."

Subsequently, Quorum introduces reputation-based threat detection, and includes significant tweaks to other areas of the security arsenal.

Using millions of users who feed back information to Symantec's researchers, the Norton 2010 products will be able to make judgments on code based on a reputation score. The products also include Symantec's SONAR 2 technology, which is behavioural antimalware, as well as the traditional signature-based antivirus and antispyware products.

"Symantec is in a unique position to bring this approach to market due to our unmatched installed base and the fact that we've had teams of engineers developing and refining this technology for the past three years," said Trollope.

"No other vendor's approach to consumer protection comes close. Our new approach changes the 'rules' by both enhancing traditional security techniques to make them more aggressive and by making it dramatically more difficult for attackers to evade detection by simply changing their malware."
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Abbyy lingvo x3

Posted on 23 May 2009 by KwaxKwax

Basic definitions, single-word translations and a bit of tutoring in one package

Lingvo started as a Russian endeavour, tranating European languages for Russian speakers. The x3 (13th) version is more suitable for European users, especially the multilingual package (Italian, Spanish, English, French and German) reviewed here.

At its core, Lingvo r.3 contains a dedicated dictionary for each language (the English dictionary has 355.000 word definitions and their inflectec forms) and then separate dictionaries to translate between languages. it integrates into Explorer so word definitions can be set to pop up when the cursor sits atop a word or you can highlight a word in any program and then tap Ctrl and C twice to find its definition.

Translation between Italian, Spanish and French is missing, but Lingvo x3 can translate to these languages from English or German. Translation is always limited to single words, while competing software is happy to translate entire sentences. which may be more useful if you're trying to get an overview of some foreign text.

The Lingvo Tutor module included with x3 translates a range of words. useful for tourists, from Russian into its five European languages or from the five European languages into Russian or German. If you intend to try a bit of French, Italian or Spanish, then this module isn't for you.

Lingvo Tutor isn't a foundation to learn a language on, because it only makes you translate a single word at a time. sc grammar and sentence construction are neglected Eu rotalk Interactive ( offers more suitable language software packages .

Advanced linguists already confident with the languages Lingvo x3 supports will find it a useful tool to double-check the odd word or a bit of grammar. but other packages are better for language learning and Collin's 122.99 Dictionary Pro ( is better as a dedicated English dictionary. Emil Larsen

Personal Computer World April 2009


Filemaker Pro 10

Posted on 22 May 2009 by KwaxKwax

A streamlined interface makes this Mac and PC database easier to use

There's no Mac version of /Microsoft's Access database, so Filemaker Pro has always had the Mac database market pretty much to itself. Its only real competition is Filemakers own low-cost Bento ( - a cut-down version of Filemaker. However, Filemaker Pro is also one of the few database prograrns that runs on both Macs and PCs, so it's used by quite a few large businesses and educational establishments that need to share their database information across both platforms.

This latest version of Filemaker Pro takes a few tips from Bento. with a redesigned interface and new features designed to improve the program's ease of use. Some of the new features are fairly mocest - such as the ability to import spreadsheet data in Excel's .xlsx format, in addition to the older .xls format. There's also a number of new 'starter solutions' - database templates that arc included to help you get started with common tasks. These cover a wide range of tasks, from organising your music collection at home to tracking business expenses.

The key changes in this upgrade revolve around the program's interface. A number of options that were previously scattered around various toolbars and menus have now been gathered into the Status Toolbar across the top of the screen. You can also customise this toolbar so that it includes just the features you use the most. Just right-click on the toolbar and you open a dialogue box that includes icons representing commands such as 'Save As PDF' You can then drag an :con and place it wherever you want on the toolbar.

The Status Toolbar is also context-sensitive, and displays different commands in different modes - graphics tools when you're in Layout mode or search tools in Browse mode - and you can customise the toolbar with different commands in each mode. This makes it easy to fine-tune the toolbar so that Filemaker's key features and commands are always right there on screen when you need them.

Other productivity-enhancing features include the ability to save search results and keep these neatly arranged in a pulldown menu in the Status Toolbar so that you can go back and retrieve the results of any search. Whenever you perform a search the program displays a small pie-chart in the Status Toolbar that shows what percentage of records in the database satisfy the search criteria. and allows you to view the 'omitted' records that didn't meet the search criteria.

For more advanced database design Filemaker Pro row includes a series of 'script triggers' Scripts in Filemaker are similar to macros in a spreadsheet - a series of linked commands that you Can save and use to perform routine tasks automatically - and script triggers can be used to activate a script whenever the person using the database performs a specific action, such as entering data into a field or selecting an item from a pulldown menu. This makes it easier for the database designer to control how users interact with the database - perhaps giving thorn a warning if they enter data in an incorrect format, or over correcting the data automatically to save time. There's also an Advanced version of Filemaker Pro 10 that costs f329. and which includes additional features such as a Script Debugger that provides more precise control over scripting.

The number of new features in Filemaker Pro 10 may seem relatively small. but the more streamlined interface makes the program easier to use, making this an upgrade that can be recommended to any of Filernaker's existing users. Cliff Joseph

Personal Computer World April 2009


Norton Internet Security 4 for Mac

Posted on by KwaxKwax

A comprehensive protection package for Mac users

Mac users have not needed to worry too much about security in recent years, but a few recent security alerts have convinced more of them to invest in some security software.

Internet Security for Mac is pretty comprehensive; as well as anti-virus it includes Norton Firewall and Norton Confidential to offer protection against phishing and other breaches of confidential data.

Installation required a reboot and. in our case. an additional 60MB of data in updates - the original install is around 90MB - though the initial setup did seem a bit sluggish.

A menu at the top of the screen gave easy access to the component parts. The first anti-virus scan took a while, but subsequent ones were much quicker. Norton Confidential can block phishing sites: in our tests. it worked some of the time, but failed to block some sites that the latest version of Safari flagged as phishing. You can also bar certain types of information - such as addresses and credit card info - from being sent over the internet. unless a password is supplied. A further feature prevents certain documents from being opened - handy on a shared Mac.

The Firewall is 'Locaton aware' and will automatically alter its settings when a Mac is plugged into a different network; it seems to work well, and displays alerts when connections to or from your Mac are attempted - the built-in firewall is one way only.

The suite has an attractive interface, though you have to launch components separately to configure them. It's a reasonable price for a year's protection, and the confidential data protection and automatic location switching are useful -- although the latter really just automates things you could do yourself. But for simple protection, it's definitely worth a look. Nigel Whitfield

Personal Computer World April 2009