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Get a simple yet powerful photo editing software for free [u]

Aurora

I caught this product news at The Mac Observer website: Light Crafts, a company that makes powerful, yet easy-to-use and learn digital photo editing software, is offering for a very limited period one of the applications for free to download and own.

Aurora is described as a “powerfully simple visual photo editing, organizing, sharing and storing software that brings out the best in your photos” and is geared towards consumers. You can visit Light Crafts’ Aurora page to know more.

If you’re ready to get your free copy, just click on the “Buy Now for $19.95” button. Then look for the “Discount Coupon” field and type in the code FREE24 then press the button right beside it. Don’t worry, once the coupon code has been applied they won’t ask you for any credit card or other payment information. However, you need to give them a valid email address because that’s where they’ll send you the registration code.

Again, Aurora can be downloaded for free for a very limited time only. This offer will end July 16, 2009 at 9:14 AM EST or July 17, 2009 at 10:15 AM, Manila time. After this promo period, Aurora can be purchased for $19.95 and is available for both Mac and Windows.

Update:

I forgot to mention that once you’ve done with the order form, Light Crafts will send you two emails: the first confirms your order and the second gives you your registration/activation information and a link where you can download a copy of Aurora. The link has an expiration date and there’s a limit to the number of times you can download the software. Aurora for Mac is a 44MB download.

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Filed under: third-party,

Installing Windows 7 for free

You might have heard about Microsoft’s latest-soon-to-be-released OS, Windows 7, and you might have heard from some of your Windows-using friends saying that Windows 7 is so very nice and so probably better than Vista and Mac OS X.

Now here’s your chance to try out Windows 7 to find out whether it is better than Leopard, and it won’t cost you a centavo (except for electricity and internet costs, of course).

The Unofficial Apple Webblog posted a tip on how to install and run Windows 7 RC 1 for free on your Intel-based Mac.

There are two options: use Apple’s Boot Camp or run Sun’s Virtual Box.

Boot Camp comes free with Leopard. VirtualBox costs $0. Zero as in nil, nada, zip! The latest version of VirtualBox (version 2.1.2) lets Windows 7 work out of the box.

The post links to The Fat Bloke Sings blog which has a tutorial on how to install Windows 7 on VirtualBox.

The latest Windows 7 release candidate can be downloaded (again, for free) and will work until June 1, 2010. The download is about 2.4GB big.

We’ve been having problems with GlobeDSL for almost three months now. I haven’t yet completed the registration process. I’m downloading Windows 7 RC1 through torrent.

I’ll probably have Windows 7 up and running on Sun’s Virtual Box by the end of the week. I hope my iMac can handle it. It is after all almost five years old.

Filed under: third-party, , ,

OmniGroup now offering four paid-for apps as freeware

OmniGroup announced this week four of their applications are now available as freeware.

OmniDiskSweeper, OmniDazzle, OmniWeb, and OmniObjectMeter used to be paid-for apps but are now free to download from the OmniGroup website.

In their blog, Omni Mouth, the company explains their reason for making these four apps available for free (concentrate engineering resources to other projects) as well as dispel concerns that these will be discontinued (no, they’re not) or will no longer be updated (yes, they still will but not as often).

OmniDiskSweeper is a Mac OS utility that helps finds large files that may just be taking up space in your hard drive.

OmniDazzle is a screen effects application that can highlight portions of your screen, create visual effects, and track your mouse pointer.

OmniWeb, an alternative browser for the Mac while OmniObjectMeter is used by developers to optimize memory usage of their applications.

Find out more or download these free applications at OmniGroup’s website.

Filed under: third-party, ,

23 Twitter apps for the iPhone/iPod touch reviewed

If you’re a Twitter fan and own an iPhone or iPod touch but have not yet installed a Twitter client app on your i-Device, I say, shame on you.

You ought to have a Twitter client or two or three, maybe even four, on your iPhone by now.

There in lies the problem.

To date, there are over 20 Twitter clients in the App Store. One can get real confused with all the choices available. What are you going to do, try them all one by one?

Well, you don’t have to.

The good folks at iLounge have devoted time and resources in putting together the most comprehensive review of Twitter apps for the iPhone/iPod touch that I know of.

Twenty-three all in all.

I won’t give you the gory details, just click on the link and be informed.

As a spoiler, the two highest rated apps are Tweetie ($3) and Twitterfon (free).

I got Twitterific (free) but trying out Twitterfon. Haven’t gotten it to work yet.

But I’m more of a Plurk user now. Using the free Plurk client, Plurk. Not as slick as I want it to be but that’s another post.

Filed under: iPhone, iPod touch, Social Networking, third-party, , ,

Adobe says Acrobat, Reader has vulnurablities to affects Mac versions as well

Adobe announced that Adobe Acrobat and Reader has a bug that could let a malicious attacker take control of your computer. Affected versions are from versions 7 to 9.

I don’t know about you but when it comes to reading PDF files, I find Apple’s Preview to work just fine. When I first got a Mac, one of the first apps I installed was Acrobat Reader for the Mac. I soon found out that it did something funky to my 800 Mhz iBook and Preview made it redundant.

I deleted Acrobat Reader and since then never found any reason to want to use it again.

[source: Macworld]

Filed under: third-party,

MacTracker helps identify your Mac

Christopher Breen of Macworld magazine got a Mac 911 question from a reader who wanted to know what is the maximum amount of RAM his MacBook can hold.

“It depends on which MacBook you have,” Breen replies, and recommends a free utility called MacTracker. He then briefly outlines who to use MacTracker to check for the maximum amount of RAM a given Mac can hold.

Aside from the above tip, MacTracker also lets you check your Macs general info, specs, and history. The catalogue is not restricted to just Macs; it also lets you check other Apple devices like iPods, iPhones, Apple TV, displays, etc…

MacTracker is one nifty app and a very good reference utility for those interested in knowing most, if not all, of the products that Apple has made.

Again, MacTracker is free and the author, Ian Page, is asking for donations to support future development.

[source: Macworld]

Filed under: third-party,

Pirated Photoshop CS4 for the Mac also has trojan

About four days ago, I posted a story about pirated copies of Apple’s newly released iWork ’09 were found to contain a trojan.

Intego, makers of Mac security software, reported that the trojan it calls “OSX.Trojan.iServices.A” were packaged into pirated copies of iWork ’09. What the trojan does once installed into a Mac is to allow somebody else to gain access into the system to possibly download more components into the infected Mac.

Another trojan, a variant of the one found in illegal copies of iWork ’09, has been found to be infecting pirated copies of Adobe Photoshop CS4. The trojan called “OSX.Trojan.iServices.B” also allows a malicious user to gain access to an infected Mac to perform various actions or downloads remotely.

How do you protect yourself against these trojans or malwares?

Simple.

Do not download and install software or applications from untrusted sources, especially from torrent sites or peer-to-peer networks. It doesn’t pay to pirate.

[Source: AppleInsider]

Filed under: third-party, ,

VisualHub is back. Sort of.

For those who are not familiar with VisualHub, it was a commercial Mac application that let you convert videos for the iPod, iPhone and Apple TV.

I said ‘was’. That’s because the developer, Techspansion, closed up shop last October and discontinued all of its products, including VisualHub.

When news of the the demise of VisualHub broke, some individuals were speculating that the media conversion software will be made open source.

Today, speculation has ended as it has been reported VisualHub will be resurrected as FilmRedux.

The initiative to bring back VisualHub, or something akin to VisualHub, is being lead by three individuals.

FilmRedux is still not yet ready for prime time though. Using the application at this point in time requires installing a bunch of other files or software.

Still, the three developers should be lauded for devoting their time and skills to bringing back one of the Macs community’s favorite app.

[source: Macworld]

Filed under: third-party,

Prince McLean’s Road to Mac Office 2008

AppleInsider’s at it again. After bringing us the nuts and bolts of Leopard, they’ve brought Microsoft Office 2008 in focus.

Prince McLean is back again with his dissection of Office 2008: its history and a comparison with the competition: iWork 08.

The road to Office 2008 starts with an introduction then the installation experience and a discussion about the user interface.

The series continutes with an Office 2008 vs iWork 08 face off. Word vs Pages. Excel vs Number. Powerpoint vs Keynote.

Word vs Pages

  • In Word 2008, Page Layout View is renamed as Print Layout View. A new Publishing Layout View is added.
  • In editing Autoshapes in Word, you still have to click OK in the editing window every time you want to see the changes made in a shape. In Pages, changes are reflected as you make them.
  • There’s no WordArt equivalent nor a bibliography feature in Pages.
  • Pages has strong graphics and composition tools.
  • Word 2008 now supports Automator while giving up VBA macros. However, Automator support will setback interested parties $300. 

Excel vs Numbers

  • Excel 2008 supports 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns
  • Excel’s formula bar is not integrated into the spreadsheet window but is instead it has its own window.
  • Numbers only has half the functions of Excel. Can’t do pivot tables, has weak statistical and financial functions, and has no engineering or database functions.
  • Numbers’ templates are consumer oriented. More professional templates are needed.
  • Excel has more charting options like radar, surface, X-Y scatter charts.
  • Numbers uses the same non-modal editing like in Pages, allowing you to see changes as you are making them. 
  • Numbers’ 3D charts can be tilted, rotated, given shadows and texture.
  • Though Excel has is more powerful and has more features than Numbers, Excel 2008 might turn off those who plan to use it for business. Numbers is for those with ‘less technical needs’.
Powerpoint vs Keynote
  • Powerpoint 2008 cut the number of view modes from five down to three: Normal, Slide Sorter, and Slide Show.
  • You can now rearrange slides in the sidebar in Powerpoint 2008.
  • Unlike in Keynote where slide transitions is previewed in the Inspector, you have to switch to Slide Show to see what a transition looks like in Powerpoint.
  • Tables in Powerpoint are nothing to write home about. Formatting Palette is awkward to use like those in other Office apps. 
  • You can’t do charts in Powerpoint without Excel. They’re tied together in this task. Keynote is independent of Numbers when it comes to making charts for presentations. 
  • SmartArt Graphics in Powerpoint make it easy to “make it easy to lay out automated designs”. Keynote doesn’t have anything comparable.
  • Both presentation softwares can export to the same formats but Keynote has more options. Export QuickTime movies under Keynote preserves animations and interactive hyperlinks can be used.
  • Powerpoint has weak graphical presentation tools and the modal approach to editing makes it annoying to edit presentations. 
  • Keynote has better templates, animation and transition sets. Added features like Instant Alpha for erasing backgrounds, Smart Builds, intelligent masking and image editing tools makes Keynote far superior than Powerpoint. 

Microsoft Office 2008 starts at $150. iWork 08 costs $79. $69.99 in Amazon.com.

Filed under: third-party

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