Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 15, 2013

August 15, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: Windows 8.1 is coming; Windows 8.1 is coming; hear ye, Windows 8.1 is coming…

Squeak #2: There are many image editors and viewers out there, but StylePix from Hornil is one that you need to try;

Squeak #3: TechPaul at Tech-for Everyone is hitting on all cylinders this week with a second article in a row to make Geek Squeaks…  Knowing what computer to buy and accessories for your kids in school can be quite stressful.  This article (and excellent advice) will help you out; AND,

Squeak #4: I love cool tech products and this portable blue tooth speaker is no exception.

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Plan on seeing  a lot more of Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!


Mark your calendars for Windows 8.1!

@ Blogging Windows

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I am excited to share that starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store… READ MORE


Convenient And Easy To Use, Lightweight and Powerful Image Editor

StylePix

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StylePix is an image editor that has all the features of raster graphics editor and adhered to lightweight design and effective UI. In addition, it has a built-in image viewer and batch processor… GET IT HERE (FREE)


Choosing the right computer for your student

@ Tech-for Everyone

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This is the time of year when I am asked for advice on what computer “tech” to buy for students… READ MORE


Sweet Sound In A Sleek Portable Design

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Connects Wirelessly to Bluetooth-Enabled Devices

Connect wirelessly from up to 30 feet away–JAM Plus works with most Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and desktops, including iPad, iPhone, and iPod… GET IT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

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A Free Powerful Lightweight Image Editor That Is Portable

November 19, 2012

Toolwiz Pretty PhotoTo find a good FREE image editor is one thing, but to find one that will run from the stick (your flash drive) is another. One of my favorite all-round system maintenance utilities is Toolwiz Care. While visiting their site, I happened to notice that they also have a product called Toolwiz Pretty Photo.

What makes Toolwiz Pretty Photo unique from any of the other image editors I have experienced is two things. One it appears it does not rely on the NET framework to run and two it is available as a portable app. Granted, the portable version is a 75 to 76 MB download; however, I found it to be worth it. This program is loaded to the gills, which is no surprise from Toolwiz!

Toolwiz Pretty Photo

ToolWiz Pretty Photo is a free powerful lightweight image editor.  With just few clicks on this free tool, you can edit photos, create photo collage, and make them look the way you want them to be, and much prettier.  Yes, it is that simple.  ToolWiz Pretty Photo does not only come with 80+ professional image (art) filters and thousands of objects, but also supports frequently used functions, such as Resize, Flip, Crop, Rotate, Layers, Shadow, Frame and so on. Recently, it also made photo collage easier. With 97 collage patterns for your selection and DIY pattern designer, photo collage is never this simple before!

Operating Systems Supported

  • Microsoft Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows XP (32-bit)

Hardware Requirements

  • 500 MHz processor or faster processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 2GB of hard disk space

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An Advanced Online Image Editor That Is Easy

February 27, 2012

Just like the online file converters I recently featured, online image editors are everywhere, which makes it hard to decide which one to go with. Factor in that the learning curve to master an image editor is quite challenging that makes most people avoid them.  Well don’t…

Today, I want to show you an online image editor, called Fotoflexer, that to me is advanced (rich in features), but very easy (and fun) to use.

Fotoflexer

For an online editor, Fotoflexer has all of the bases covered. You can do everything from fixing your photo or image to adding effects, fonts, shapes, etc… You can even get crazy with Fotoflexer by applying morphing, distortion and doodling effects.

Fotoflexer

The best way to get a handle on using Fotoflexer is to visit the website and either upload a test photo or use a photo they provide.  A really cool feature (that I like) is that I can either save my finished product to my computer or I can save it to an online photo storage and sharing service (such as Picasa, Photobucket, MySpace, and others).  In my case, I use Picasa. To take advantage of the his feature, you must sign up for an account with Fotoflexer (which is FREE).

After using Fotoflexer, I can honestly say that for an online photo and image editing program, this one is a keeper.  Fotoflexer can do it all and most importantly, it is easy to use and understand.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

FREE Today Only – Whiteboard Pro (Android App)

Need Blank DVDs?
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Bookmarks4Techs News Clip – What Is All This 2G, 3G and 4G Talk?

HOT HOT HOT – The Suitcase Internet – The Internet Free Of Government Control @ Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

Click Here for Today’s Deal of the Day @ Amazon

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PhotoFiltre 7 – An Image Editor with An Easy Learning Curve

January 12, 2012

I don’t know about you, but I do not have the patient or attention span to learn PhotoShop. Several years ago, as a result of my impatience and my learning deficit, I needed to find an image editing program that I could catch on quickly and get the job done. This is when I found PhotoFiltre; AND, to this day it is my editor program of choice. PhotoFiltre is no PhotoShop by any means, but let me tell you this program rocks; especially with this new release.

This week I learned that PhotoFiltre 7 was recently released and the good with this release is two things.

  1. PhotoFiltre 7 has been developed with the core components that is in the advanced commercial version (PhotoFiltre Studio), minus a few attributes.  PhotoFiltre 7 now supports layers with improvement to the filters.
  2. PhotoFiltre 7 is available as full install (with a setup file) or you can download the portable version which gives you the ability to carry PhotoFiltre on your flash drive.

PhotoFiltre 7

PhotoFiltre 7 is a complete image retouching program. It allows you to do simple or advanced adjustments to an image and apply a vast range of filters on it. It is simple and intuitive to use, and has an easy learning curve. The toolbar, giving you access to the standard filters with just a few clicks, gives PhotoFiltre 7 a robust look. PhotoFiltre 7 also has layer manager (with Alpha channel), advanced brushes, batch module and lot of other powerful tools.

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Featured Tech Site Review of the Day – dotTech

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10 things you should do when you get a new Windows laptop
@ TechRepublic

SHOP @ Bookmarks4Techs Amazon Store

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Hands Down This Is the Best Screen Capture App Out There

November 11, 2011

Folks, I do a lot of graphic editing and desktop publishing on the amateur level and I would be lost if I did not have a good graphic editor and screen capture application. My “go to” software for screen captures and graphic editing,  is no other than PicPick Tools. If you do not have PicPick Tools on your computer, then you are missing out on a real jewel of a computer program that is super easy to figure out, is FREE for home use, AND is portable. Don’t let the simplicity of this application fool you. It can do everything you need it do to get that graphic editing job done.

PicPick Tools

I have written about PicPick Tools before, but it is one of those apps that just continues to improve and one of those apps (that in my opinion) should be in the Freeware Hall of Fame.

So what is all my rave about:

PicPick is user friendly and full of features for creating your image, suitable for software developers, graphic designers and home user.

Screen Capture

  • Auto-scroll, dual monitors and sound effect are supported
  • Various output to File, Printer, Office programs, External program
  • Sharing to FTP, Web, E-mail, Facebook and Twitter are supported as well
  • Full Screen
  • Active Window
  • Window Control
  • Scrolling Window
  • Region, Fixed Region
  • FreeHand
  • Repeat Last Capture

Image Editor

  • Intuitive User Interface
  • Windows 7 Ribbon style
  • Standard drawing, shapes, arrows, lines, text, and etc.
  • Blur, sharpen, hue, contrast, brightness, pixelate, rotate, flip, frame effect and etc.

Color Picker and Color Palette

  • various color code type (RGB, HTML, C++, Delphi)
  • Photoshop style RGB/HSV conversion is supported.
  • Pick and Save your favorite color!

Screen Pixel Ruler

  • horizontal and vertical orientation
  • various units (Pixels, Inches, Centimeters)
  • DPI setting (72, 96, 120, 300)
  • colorful gradient skins
  • You don’t have to install any other screen ruler softwares.

Screen Magnifier

  • Zoom 2x to 10x option
  • Stay on top, smooth display, and sizeable window

Screen Protractor

  • Have you seen any screen protractor functions?

Screen Crosshair

  • For aligning objects in graphics or design applications
  • For calculating relative coordinates on screen

Whiteboard

  • For giving a presentation or just drawing something on screen

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Turn Your Photos Into Something Awesome with iPiccy Photo Tools

October 31, 2011

There is quite a lineup of online image editors these days, but there is one I bet you have not tried and it is called iPiccy.  Out of the gate, iPiccy is unique in that a registration is not required.  On top of that iPiccy is fast, very easy to use and offers quite a selection of tools that will enable you to to quickly and easily edit, enhance, share and print all of your photos from any Internet browser.

iPiccy

iPiccy is currently in the beta stages of development; which means it is in the public testing stage and which means it will continue to improve.

iPiccy provides new, easy-to-use tools for modifying pictures, using advanced image processing. iPiccy offers the easiest user interface and workflow of any photo editing application, allowing users to easily pull images from any Web site or file folder. iPiccy includes an extensive variety of easy Web-based photo-editing tools such as Auto-fix, Rotate, Crop, Resize and Color adjustment and Sharpen – all in one place and in real-time. In addition, iPiccy can also be used to turn photos into creative masterpieces, with clever special effects like Liquify, painter, vignette, pencils, and many more. iPiccy.com works flawlessly in any Web browser and is compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux. And since iPiccy lives on the Web, it is constantly evolving as new image-editing technology is developed and the needs of the user base change.

iPiccy includes more then 30 creative tools including basic effects such as Sepia, Black and White, Color tint, Bloom, and Cross process; advanced effects such as Unsharp Mask, Local Contrast, Image equaluzer plus an assortment of borders and frame shapes. In addition iPiccy have advanced built-in painter and text editor.  Need a quick method to apply a watermark to an image, then give iPiccy a try.

iPiccy

There was one thing in iPiccy that I did not see and that was the ability to create an arrow. Usually this can be found under the tool to create a line. Maybe in a future version I will see this option.  Otherwise, this online editor is a great one in my book.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

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Easily Convert Your Photos into Beautiful Paintings, Sketches or Drawings

September 26, 2010

With the power of your computer you can take a personal photo and convert into a beautiful painting, sketch or drawing using FREE software called FotoSketcher.

FotoSketcher

FotoSketcher can either be installed on your computer or used as a portable app on your flash drive. The software is automated and very easy to use. Simply open a photo you desire to convert, select the drawing parameters, and click on “DRAW”. Watch FotoSketcher perform the magic right before your eyes.

FotoSketcher

Different styles are available: pencil sketch, pen and ink drawing, various painting renderings. You can also improve your original photo with simple tools (enhance contrast, sharpen, simplify image, increase luminosity, color saturation, add text, frames, etc…).

FotoSketcher

To demonstrate the power of FotoSketcher, reflected is a photo of a Ford 8N Tractor that my Father recently restored; AND, the same photo converted to a sketch, oil painting and cartoon.

The 8N Ford Tractor debuted in 1947, a largely new machine featuring more power and an improved transmission which proved to be the most popular farm tractor of all time in North America. – [Source: Wikipedia]


Original

8N Ford Tractor

Sketch

8N Ford Tractor

Oil Painting

8N Ford Tractor

Cartoon

8N Ford Tractor

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Google Acquires Picnik Photo Editor

March 1, 2010

Picnik is a cloud app that gives you the power to edit your photos and images in your web browser. You simply upload the photo or image you desire to tweak or fix.  With Picnik you can fix underexposed photos, remove red-eye, or apply effects to your photos without the need of installing software on your PC.

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Today, I learned that Google has acquired Picnik.  This acquisition is another piece of the puzzle that Google is putting together to make our online experience as seamless as possible. With this acquisition, Picnik will only get better! You can read more about it [HERE] .

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Picnik is a fast, fun, easy to use and powerful set of photo editing tools for editing, sharing and printing images using any internet browser on any computer platform. Picnik is integrated with a wide variety of websites like Picasa Web Albums, Facebook, Flickr, Yahoo! Mail and Photobucket. With Picnik, you can edit your photos wherever they are from wherever you are.

And all this leads us to today’s exciting news: we’ve just been acquired by Google! What does this mean for Picnik? It means we can think BIG. Google processes petabytes of data every day, and with their worldwide infrastructure and world-class team, it is truly the best home we could have found. Under the Google roof we’ll reach more people than ever before, impacting more lives and making more photos more awesome.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#49)

February 24, 2010

If you have a passion for information technology and computers, then you need to follow the sites (blogs) listed below that are part of Geek Squeaks’. Each week I pull an article from each of those sites (blogs) to highlight their accomplishments in Geek Squeaks’ of the Week. I encourage you the preview the articles below and pay a visit to each of these sites.

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Scoroncocolo
Google’s Free Programs and Services

Right On Technology
Google Earth Arrives For Android 2.1 Phones

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Comodo Dragon – A More Secure Internet Browser?

Plato On-Line
FBI Now into the PA School ‘Laptop Spying’

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Antimalware Doctor

Carol’s Vault
Reblog: 20+ Exceptional Online Professional Image Editors and Drawing Applications

Free PC Security
Site Update

AskBillFirst
Lesson Learned

Tech-for Everyone
Buzz Bombs

Rarst.net
Google Buzz – weird email or weird Twitter?

Lifehacker
Use Windows System Restore to Recover Individual Files

Crazy World of G
Export This

Snakebytez
Liksoft Free Screen Capture Software

TTC Shelbyville
NetSurveyor Wireless Network Survey

I Love Free Software
Do It Again: Automatically Repeat Tasks on your PC

Worthy Tips
Change Windows 7 Start Button
with Windows 7 Start Button Changer

Mrintech
Real Life Photograph which Looks like Oil Painting!

Canadian Tech Blogger
Top 5: Most Popular Google Searchs For 2010

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Blogging with Windows Live Writer. 9

TuneUp Blog
Educating PC Users on Computer Maintenance

WP Expert
How To Correctly Use The Top Rated Widget

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Turn Your Web Browser into an Image Editor

November 5, 2009

image Today I want to show you an online cloud service called Pixlr that offers several tools that you can use to capture and edit your images (and photos) right inside your web browser. You simply visit Pixlr.com and your browser is transformed into an image editor.  No account sign-up is needed or required.

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The tools in Pixlr are are driven by Flash and you need to have the Flash plug-in (get flash) to get it to work. Most PC’s today have the Flash plug- in already installed. To find out if you have flash installed, simply visit Pixlr and try to load the editor. The cool factor about Pixlr is that if you are using the current version of Flash, you will not have to upload your images (or photos) to the server. The image you desire to work on will be opened directly into your browser at the local level (on your PC). The plus about this is that your image is not being sent somewhere else, which could be a privacy concern; especially if the image is sensitive in nature. In essence, your internet browser (such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera etc.) becomes an image editor.

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Pixlr Editor – If you are already familiar with image editing software (e.g. Photoshop, Gimp, Paint.net, Paint Shop Pro), then you will be right at home with Pixlr Editor. The editor offers the same functionality, navigation and tools, with the ability to handle layers, that you find in your typical image editing software. Your final creation can be saved to your computer as a JPEG, PNG, BMP or PXD (layer Pixlr image).

Available Tools:

Marquee tool
Move tool
Lasso tool
Crop tool
Wand tool
Clone Stamp tool
Pencil tool
Eraser tool
Brush tool
Gradient tool
Paint Bucket tool
Blur tool
Sharpen tool
Smudge tool
Sponge tool
Dodge tool
Burn tool
Red Eye Reduction tool
Drawing tool
Bloat tool
Pinch tool
Color Picker tool
Type tool
Hand tool
Zoom tool

In addition to Pixlr Editor you will also find Pixlr Express and Pixlr Grabber.

Pixlr Express is an online utility that gives you the ability to “quick fix” your photos with basic tools (e.g. crop, resize, rotate, flip, adjust the color and apply photo effects).

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Pixlr Grabber is a is a light weight application that enables you to right click any image on your desktop and open them in Pixlr Editor. It is available as a Windows application or as a Firefox extension.

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RealWorld Paint.COM – Great “Freeware” Image Editor…

January 9, 2009

When I find software that is new to me, is “FREE”, and it rocks; I have to get it out there. RealWorld Paint.COM is one of them. I have tried numerous image editors, but this one is different. The interface of RealWorld Paint.COM is very modern looking, is loaded with features that you would typically find in commerical software (i.e. layers, adobe filter plug-ins, text effects, masking, editing tools etc…). I am still test driving this one; but, so far, this looks like a keeper on my PC. 

clipped from www.rw-designer.com

RealWorld Paint.COM


Version 2008.1


RealWorld Paint.COM screenshot

 


System Requirements

Windows XP or Windows Vista
Pentium or compatible; 256MB memory
Mouse, truecolor display, 20MB HDD


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Drawing a glassy rounded rectangle

 


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Layer effects and gradients

 


Power inside

RealWorld Paint.COM has much hidden power under the hood and harbors features unexpected in a freeware image editor. Many of its drawing tools and image filters are able to do gamma-aware blending and color gradient interpolation, producing correct colors by default.

A powerful scripting system allows users to greatly extend and customize the functionality of RW Paint.COM using JavaScript. For example the “Create screenshot” command (used to generate the screenshot above) is a scripted function.

Beside the ability to use native plug-ins for virtually everything (filters, tool, fills, windows, codecs, storage, …), RealWorld Paint.COM is also able to use the vast amount of plug-ins compatible with Adobe Photoshop.

Nifty features

Ordinary applications are boring. RealWorld Paint.COM has a couple of nifty functions, not terribly useful, but fun to use:

Invoke commands using mouse gestures – perform a gesture with right mouse button and something (configure it!) happens. Undoing was never easier.

Vista glass-like effects – draw semitransparent shapes (using “Xxx with effect” tool) and the editor makes your shape look like a window frame on Windows Vista – it blurs background and adds shadow and reflection.

Tool presets – save and quickly restore your favorite gradients, tool settings, or colors.
 

Get Clipmarks – The easiest way to email text, images and videos you find on the web.

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GET IT HERE - RealWorld Paint.com

 

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FastStone Image Viewer…

November 14, 2008

When you buy a digital camera it usually ships with some type of digital imaging software. Same goes with scanners. I never install those packages, due they are often cumbersome, want to connect to the internet, and will often slow a system down. Windows XP and Vista, more than often, will automatically recognize those devices without having to install the software. On occasions you may have to install a driver and that is usually available on the same CD that the software is on. So what do I use for my imaging and scanning software? I currently use a FREE software program called FastStone Image Viewer. This program is awesome in the aspect that it does more than just view images (see features below). One really nice option with this software is that there is a portable version available, which can be installed on your flash drive. In my opinion, this is the best FREE full featured image utility out there.

 

Features (as indicated on the website):

  • Image browser and viewer with a familiar Windows Explorer-like user interface
  • Support of many popular image formats: (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF and DNG). 
  • True Full Screen viewer with image zoom support and unique fly-out menu panels
  • Crystal-clear and customizable one-click image magnifier
  • Superior Red-Eye effect removal/reduction with completely natural looking end result
  • Image modification tools: Resize/resample, rotate/flip, crop, sharpen/blur, brightness/contrast, etc. 
  • Eleven (yes, 11) resampling algorithms to choose from when resizing images
  • Image color effects: gray scale, sepia, negative, Red/Green/Blue adjustment
  • Image special effects: watermark, annotation, drop shadow, framing, bump map, lens, morph, waves
  • Multi-level Undo/Redo capability
  • One-touch best fit/actual size image display support
  • Image management, including tagging capability, with drag-and-drop and Copy To/Move To Folder support
  • Histogram display with color counter feature
  • Compare images side-by-side (up to 4 at a time) to easily cull those forgettable shots
  • Image EXIF metadata support (plus comment editing for JPEGs)
  • Configurable batch processing to convert/rename large or small collections of images
  • Slideshow creation with 150+ transition effects and music support (MP3, WMA, WAV…)
  • Create efficient image attachment(s) for emailing to family and friends
  • Print images with full page-layout control
  • Create fully configurable Contact Sheets – just like the pros (and save $$$ on ink)
  • Create memorable artistic image montages from your family photos for personalized desktop wallpapers (Wallpaper Anywhere)
  • Acquire images from a scanner
  • Versatile screen capture capability
  • Powerful Save As interface to compare image quality and control generated file size
  • Run favorite programs with one keystroke from within Image Viewer
  • Create a no-install fully portable version of the program which can be run from a removable storage device
  • Configurable mouse wheel support
  • Supports multiple program skins
  • Supports dual-monitor configurations
  • And much more… 

 


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For a great review on a terrific alternative image viewer, checkout Irfanview, by my north of the border friend, Bill Mullins, on his site 
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