EARTHLINK TOTAL ACCESS

Earthlink is promoting a software bundle called “Total Access.” It includes features that sound tempting – including a popup blocker, something more and more people are looking for as popup ads get more intrusive.

“Total Access” is a bad thing. Stay far away!

Earthlink doesn’t adequately advise you that the “Total Access” suite is intended to take over your computer and control your Internet experience for Earthlink’s benefit. […] continued

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TIME MATTERS 5.0

Time Matters and Amicus are the market leaders for law office case management. Time Matters just rolled out its first new version in two years, version 5.0, along with a new companion product for billing, Billing Matters. It appears that Time Matters is positioning itself as a general business management program, with special versions customized for accounting and law offices. […] continued

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HISTORY LESSON

Mark Minasi occasionally writes a column for a newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine. Today he makes an interesting point to support his contention that Windows NT 4.0 should not be considered obsolete. Minasi notes that the hardware in personal computers has changed less in the last ten years than in the ten preceding years. […] continued

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WORDPERFECT 11

There’s a new release of WordPerfect, so I went through the Corel support newsgroups to get an idea of what people think.

The reports are pretty good. It’s reasonably stable for most people, and Corel has taken out some of the most troublesome parts of the previous releases. I’m especially pleased to see that they’ve dropped “Corel Central,” the broken information manager. […] continued

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NEW VERSION OF MEDIA JUKEBOX

In the background I’m downloading the new version of Media Jukebox, renamed Media Center 9. Here’s the page with all the details. Media Jukebox has long been my favorite program for managing my mp3 library. The new version adds an improved interface, some new tricks for downloading and displaying album covers and the like, and it adds the ability to work with your library of photos and images. […] continued

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WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER 9

Microsoft introduced Windows Media Player 9 a few months ago. It’s got a better interface and much improved technology for streaming audio and video – far better than RealPlayer and QuickTime. It runs best on Windows XP, of course – I’ve seen problem reports on Windows 98/ME.

And it also introduces strong digital rights management, which has kept me from installing it up to now. […] continued

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80-20 RETRIEVER

I have a lot of information stored in my Outlook folders. Maybe you’re in the same position – dozens of subfolders, or 5,000 messages in your Inbox that you plan to organize as soon as you have time.

80-20 Retriever is a $49.95 program that indexes your Outlook folders and does lightning-fast searches, presenting results by content, person, date, or folder. […] continued

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NORTON ANTIVIRUS GRIPES

Norton Antivirus continues to be the best antivirus program for most people – but it has had its share of annoyances. Many people found that online subscription renewal was broken. There was a bug that caused outgoing mail to be sent incredibly slowly if NAV was scanning it. This web site has a list of NAV gripes. […] continued

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NEW VERSION OF AD-AWARE

You may know about Ad-Aware, the wonderful free software that scans your system for “spyware” and “scumware” – programs, browser add-ons, cookies, and other little sneaks that might be tracking your surfing habits, sending this data to a third party, profiling your shopping preferences, hijacking your browser start page, altering important system files, or displaying popup ads. […] continued

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ANOTHER REASON TO HATE REAL ONE PLAYER

Learn to live without Real One Player. You won’t be able to play some audio and video streams – but your computer will thank you.

Real Networks has earned a special place for its devious behavior – installing flashing icons down by the clock, popping up incessant pitches for money, concealing the checked boxes during installation that cause you to start receiving volumes of junk mail, and lots more. […] continued

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WINDOWS MESSENGER vs. MSN MESSENGER

Microsoft has completely mucked up the marketing of its Passport service and its instant messenger products. I follow this industry pretty closely, but I’ve frequently been baffled about how the various pieces fit together.

I get an e-mail newsletter from WinXP News (not overly technical, not completely flattering to Microsoft, and frequently filled with useful tips and tricks – recommended!) […] continued

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MICROSOFT XMAS GOODIES

If you’re running Windows XP and you want to kill a little time, drop by www.microsoft.com/holiday for some Christmas-themed computer toys – screensavers, skins for Media Player, digital photo greeting card templates, and the like. (Be warned – the screensavers are extraordinarily dull. Don’t bother.)

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SOFTWARE SECURITY FLAWS

Every so often I feel compelled to respond to the incessant coverage of the security flaws in Microsoft products. It’s easy to get the impression that Microsoft products are inherently insecure and that alternative systems are better.

Analysts from the Aberdeen Group reported today that open-source software and Linux installations have overtaken Microsoft as the leading security risks. […] continued

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NEW VERSION OF KAZAA

Kazaa introduced a new version of its file sharing software today. It should be available at download.com. I don’t have any information yet about any spyware included in this version – Kazaa was packing spy programs in pretty seriously for a while.

There are some new ways for the Kazaa software to display paid advertising when you search, but the new version also has some nice enhancements that are going to enrage the recording industry. […] continued

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DIGITAL IMAGES

For consumers, the world of graphics software breaks down roughly into two categories:

Photo editing programs – for working with images from your scanner or digital camera. Examples: Adobe Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro.

Home publishing programs – for creating projects like greeting cards, signs, labels, etc., with clip art and photos.

[…] continued Read more