Tech Treats

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This category is reserved for finds by our Editor Rhiannon Dent.

Items should consist of at least two paragraphs.

The first should be a "teaser" paragraph. This paragraph will be automatically published in our RSS feed. It should state the nature of the find and the benefits without mentioning the product name or providing a product link. For example:

"For months I've been looking for a good way of deleting 'undeletable' files. Finally I've discovered a free utility that does the job reliably and simply."

The second paragraph should at the very least, expand the benefits, name the product and provide a product link. For example:

"Unlocker is a tiny 230KB utility that works with Windows 2000 and XP. Vista users are out of luck. Just right click on the 'undeletable file', select 'Delete with Unlocker' from the context menu and next time you boot the file will be gone for good."

You can have a third paragraph if you wish; indeed as many as you like. However there must at least be a second paragraph after the opening "teaser" paragraph.

A Safe Way to Use Your Email Address on Forums & Websites

You should never post your real email address to a forum, comments form or other webpage that's publicly accessible.  If you do it will almost be certainly be harvested by spammers.

Some people try to get around this by "munging" their email address, that is, disguising the address so that only a human can understand it.  A typical example of munging is bill(at)microsoft(dot)com.

Munging has become less effective as spammers harvesting robots have got smarter. Many can now decrypt the most common munging techniques such as the example above.

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Free 16x16 Icon Set for Web Designers

This set of 500 16x16 png icons by Marcis Gasuns consists of objects useful in web design.

This LED icon set is a development of previous icon sets such as "Drunkey Love", "Silk" and "Fugue."  As you can see from the small sample above, the quality is first class.

http://led24.de/iconset/

Thanks to Alex White for the suggestion.

Signing off

Rhiannon

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Free Standing Weather Gadget For Your Desktop

This great looking, free weather gadget doesn't require any program to run.

Desktop gadgets usually need programs of one sort or another to run. There are Google gadgets, Yahoo gadgets, Vista Sidebar gadgets......you get the idea.

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The Best Free Security List in the World ?

One of our editors, Antti Koponen, has personally compiled a huge list of free security software which he has modestly titled "Probably the Best Free Security List in the World"

Whether it is the "best" I  cannot say but it is extraordinarily comprehensive and includes many products I didn't even know existed.

Please note that this is just a list not a set of recommendations. However for anyone who has an interest in security it is a fabulous resource.

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How to Make Your PC Easier on Your Eyes

What a clever idea. F.lux is a freeware program that adjusts the color of your screen depending on the time of day. So at night, F.lux makes the screen look warmer and less glaringly blue than during the day. The end result is a screen that is much easier on the eyes.

F.lux works by changing the color temperature of your display. The default setting is 3400K for night and 6500K for daytime. This can affect color sensitive work such as editing digital photographs but there is a disable switch that allows you to turn F.lux off.

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A Picture Search Engine That's a Must for Online Daters

This interesting suggestion about a site that provides reverse image search was emailed to me by regular site visitor R.F.  I can see it being of great value to others.  The idea is simple: provide a picture or image and the search engine will locate that and similar images on the web. - Gizmo

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How to Convert PDF Files to Word Doc Files for Free

Your best free option is to use an online conversion service. With these services, you upload your PDF file, then download the converted file.

I tried a number of these services, including one offered by Adobe, but in the end I could only recommend this one.

ZamZar. is an excellent general file conversion site, and PDF to DOC is one of the many conversion options available.

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Free Estimates and Bill of Quantities Program

Personally I have no need for this kind of software but I suspect there are many of you who do.

This certainly looks to be a pretty serious program and you can't argue with the price.

Well I guess you could  argue that it's not really free in that they do ask you to provide a lot of personal data in order to register to the product.  It's your call. 

PriMus-DCF

Signing off,
Rhiannon

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Lots of Commercial Software for Free

Wikipedia defines abandonware as "computer software that is no longer sold or supported, or whose copyright ownership may be unclear for various reasons."

There is a lot of this stuff around. In fact there are whole websites dedicated to it.

For example there's VetusWare, a site that has a huge range of older commercial apps ranging from Word 6 to AutoCad R13.

Then  there's Abandonia, a site that specializes in classic DOS games.

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Google Cheat Sheet

Essential tips and tricks for Googler's of all kinds.

Update:
The link in the original article is dead.
This article at Geekology has similar (and I think better) tips than the original link. I think the formatting in this article is easier to read and understand as well.

Advanced Google search hacks and tricks

(thanks to Anonymous for letting me know)

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