Category Archives: Software Reviews

Carbonite Backup: Online PC Backup Review

If you’re like most people I know, backing up the important data on your hard drive is something you know you should do but you’ll get round to it some day soon, honest – Carbonite Backup solves this problem.

Same goes for your cell phone. You probably only back it up when someone else has lost their phone. I know I’m usually embarrassed at how long there is between backups on my cell phone.

And backing up my hard drive? Well, I kept meaning to get an external drive and use that. But somehow it never happened…

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PDF Password Recovery Review

If you’re 100% organised, there’s a chance you may not need to to use a PDF password recovery program.

I’ve got a lot of PDFs scattered over my hard drive and some of those have a password attached to them.

Usually I rename them so that the file name tells me what the password is. But occasionally I don’t do that and then need to hunt through emails or MSN chats to find what the password was.

Other people I know get sent password protected PDFs at work and they either have to add to their collection of Post It notes or find somewhere else to store the password.

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PC Secret Formula Review: speeding up your computer

PC Secret Formula is a report that claims to be able to speed up any PC.

Using its recommendations on my personal PC, I shaved an impressive 44 seconds off the boot time. So if you want my quick review: it works. Buy it!

It’s not the usual “buy this registry cleaner” or “buy this defragmenter”. Instead, it’s full of solid advice you can use to speed up your computer.

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WordPress Anti Spam

Just a brief post to say that I’ve added an extra thing for my comments as I was getting fed up with the amount of spam comments.

I’ve already installed Akismet but that still means having to go through the comments and check that a real one hasn’t been trapped.

Peter’s Custom Anti Spam Image Plugin for WordPress works a treat. It’s easy to install and there’s an extra “captcha” word to type in that a real human will have no problem with. You can add your own words to the list, just being careful to make sure that they’re not too long (no more than 6 or 7 letters).

The only thing missing is an audio equivalent so that visually impaired people can get the word spelled out for them. I’ll be on the lookout for that.

If you’re running a WordPress blog, this is a “must have” plugin. Get it for free from here.

Convert Word doc files to plain text

If you’ve ever had to convert a batch of doc (or rtf or html) files into plain old text files, you’ll know it can be a hassle so the idea of using a piece of software to convert doc to txt is definitely appealing.

convert doc to txtYou either have to open each one manually (which is fine if you only have a few to convert) or you end up searching the web for a tool that will convert doc to text.

These tools are around but they’re expensive. Most of the ones I found cost hundreds of dollars. Which wasn’t a figure I had planned on spending.

I thought I was going to have to resort to recording a macro in Word. Something I’d never had much success with to be honest.

Then I chanced on a neat little program that is designed purely to convert word documents to text files. That’s all it does in life. It doesn’t convert PDFs or spreadsheets or anything fancy. Just Word doc files, RTF files and HTML documents.

And it does it fast! My machine converted 149 files a minute. That’s faster than I could have done with a macro. And that was on my old machine. My more recent computer works even faster although I haven’t been sad enough to run another time test on it when I’ve used it to convert doc to txt. I just know it works more than fast enough for my needs.

So if you need to convert word doc files to text files, this neat little program is a “must have”.

Click here to convert doc to txt now.

Comment Hut Software Review

Finding pages with high Page Rank and getting backlinks from them is probably every marketer’s holy grail.

If you’re good at mangling search engine queries, you can probably dig down and find blogs that Google, Yahoo or whoever think are relevant to your topic.

Then you’ll need either the Google toolbar or a Firefox add-on (ideally one that regularly keeps up to date with all the latest updates). You’ll then be able to spot the higher PR sites.

After that, all you need to do to get a high PR backlink is place a comment.

Comment Hut is a piece of software that takes the hard work out of finding the relevant blogs. All you need to do is fire it up, type in your keyword phrase and it will then go off in the background (while you get on with all those other important tasks) and find stacks of relevant pages. Another click of your mouse and it will filter the list by a page rank that you decide.

With Comment Hut you can choose a minimum PR value. Anything from 1 to 10, although it’s unlikely you’ll find too many relevant blogs at the top end of this range.

After that, all you need to do is either export the list you’ve just created and work on them at your leisure or pick them off one at a time from the software by double clicking.

Comment Hut deliberately doesn’t store any “pre-canned” responses. It’s far, far better to go to each page, quickly skim the blog and then post a comment that’s in the same style as the blog. That way you’re much more likely to keep the links you’ve created.

Comment Hut works with 5 major blogging platforms or you can download an evaluation copy that works just with WordPress blogs. Doing this will give you a good chance to see whether the full edition of Comment Hut will be worth spending your cash on.

If you’re looking for a quick fix “comment on hundreds of blogs in seconds” answer, then Comment Hut is most definitely not for you.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a piece of well supported software that works dependably and does the boring bits of work that computers enjoy doing, then Comment Hut is highly recommended.

To find out more, or to download a trial copy of Comment Hut, click here.