Showcase: AirSqirrels AirParrot 2

Showcase: AirSqirrels AirParrot 2

While multi-monitor PC setups are much more common place today, than ten to fifteen years ago, there are still occasions where you need to mirror your desktop/apps/presentations to other screens. Many times these situations also involve technology layouts, which do not have additional screens attached to the host machine or are at various resolutions that do not show the content in the proper aspect ratios between displays. This also functions as a cost-savings solution, if additional display hardware is out of the question, in both price and space consideration.

In my time as a computer Tier-II field technician, I have been in situations, where I needed to have my screen be transmitted to a second computer for diagnostic purposes and/or teaching my fellow tech trainees. If I had become aware that a budget-minded program existed, and it had companion reception programs that worked seamlessly with minimal fuss; I would have sought it out, and obtained it. What would me search have turned up? The answer is the excellent screen transmitting program from AirSquirrel, called AirParrot 2.airparrot-2-grey-g2-side-2

In my disabled state, as a hobbyist blogger/advocate for my community, my potential usages for this program has changed from my technician days, it still serves a vital purpose for me, and my blog, and even my family. You may ask, what sort of real-world application I could offer you to highlight this new usage of this program to make it worth the price of the program.  My answer is my ability to screen share streaming video services between my wife and myself, so we can watch programs together, even if we are not sitting next to each other.

My wife and I enjoy watching shows, such as Fargo on Hulu, and many times I am on my desktop, and she is working on her laptop. In these situations, we want to connect over a mutually-loved program and bond, yet we have to keep to using headphones (we can be night owls, so we do not want to disturb our neighbors), and in our room/work area we do not have space to work side-by-side. Having AirParrot 2 (the transmitting program that I have installed on my machine) and the companion receiver program, Reflector 2, that takes the source signal and displays this on the second machine/screen (fear not, I will review this program separately, and highlight some of its unique features then).

airparrot_2_popup_menuIn the aforementioned scenario, I can tweak the settings to make sure that the streamed video signal, over WI-FI runs smoothly and clearly Since my wife’s laptop is not nearly as powerful as my desktop tower, so I tend to set the video to run at 720p, with medium to lower quality to make it smooth and run full screen on the destination machine. This is very effective for video streaming, via the web interface, rather than the dedicated applet in Windows.

Besides this usage, you can just stream audio feeds, if you need to only share what is being heard from a video/app or a dedicated audio feed. You can also just share a specified app/program, rather than the entire desktop, if you choose to do so. Bottom line, this program is very versatile and easy to use program, and works well by itself or with its companion apps and programs.

You may ask what does this program cost, and the answer is a very, nice $12.99 USD, and that is for a single-license on either Mac or Windows. If you need more than one device/computer, they have the 5-Pack, which works on both PC and Mac, and costs $60.00 USD. In my opinion this is the best value, as this allows you use the license(s) back and forth on various platforms, and save 8% over the single-user license cost/unit. If you might need to use this program in a commercial environment or educational setting, they offer pricing quotes, especially if you will need twenty or more licenses for these purposes. No matter which level you pick, you can rest assured that you will be satisfied and very happy with your purchases. If you stop by and check them out, tell them I sent you, and that you are interested in snagging this program. As always, until next time, keep on techin’. . .airparrot-2-grey-g2-side

Incomedia WebSite X5 Evolution 13 Review

Incomedia WebSite X5 Evolution 13 Review

A few months back, I brought to your attention the nice, development-ready platform, Incomedia WebSite X5 Evolution 12, and with the programs stable of site design tools, layouts, and templates. Fast forward to this month (October 2016), and you have the updated release of this fine suite, entitled WebSite X5 Evolution 13. Included with this update, is a bevy of new templates, stock images, graphic libraries, eCommerce site tools, social media buttons/applets, and so much more. You may wonder do these new features warrant the upgrade price. Let’s go through the process, and see what is on offer, and what is best for each type of user.websitex5_800px

If you are someone, like myself, and have your own blog site, having the new tools, such as a large stock royalty-free image library (now numbering at 700,000 images), is a blessing, as I can use the images to augment my posts, with demonstration images, along with the licensed images of the products that I review. I do not have a budget to purchase images/logos/design vector images, as a hobbyist blogger, but now I can choose from the built-in libraries to find what I need for future posts.

pro_en_xlAnother element of this update is enhanced eCommerce tools, with strong-level integration with payment processing gateways that work with your online storefront, which allows you to take a nice range of credit cards that you can accept. I do not have a need of this type of site tools, but my wife does run an online store, where she sells her artwork and hopefully, someday her books and instructional materials. I plan to introduce these, new financial purchasing tools to her, so she can incorporate this into her payment structure, to help cut out the “middleman” and reduce her cost overhead in processing fees.

incomedia-website-x5-product-specificationsMy blog audience and exposure is intrinsically tied to my social media profile. I have been able to contact numerous companies, their representatives, and vested individuals, who want to support my cause of raising awareness for the disabled and technology. One day that I do that, on a day-to-day basis is my contacting companies, through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other media outlets. On top of that, I enter numerous contests with many groups, and disseminate those promotional activities, through these social channels, so you, my readers can take advantage of these along with me.

If, and when I can move to a dedicate domain site, I hope to add these built-in plugins and social buttons from Incomedia’s WebSite X5 13. I want to do this to streamline this process, and make it possible for you interface directly with me, on my site, auto re-post my content to multiple social media channels, and maybe have future giveaways with these features, down the line. Having an integrated social media system will make my portfolio of content much more cohesive entity, and centralized that is currently capable.

incomedia_website_x5_logo_redI could go on and on, in hashing out the new features, but the best service that I can do for you is to tell you the three tiers that this software come in, and their price points. The starting tier is WebSite X5 Start 13, which includes 25 pages to make/manage, 50 templates, and the ability to make sites for desktop computers. This only cost $19.99 USD; nice budget-conscious price point that allows you to utilize this software much more than what a trial can offer you. The next tier is WebSite X5 Evolution 13, which is what I need for my projects/sites, and the one I recommend for the majority of people, who need web page design software. The cost of this is $79.00 USD, and has many, many more features, templates, pages to manage, and the ability to offer online storefronts. The top-tier of this product family is WebSite X5 13 Professional that has all of the aforementioned features, options, and a full-featured eCommerce suite that supports storefronts, payment systems, registration of users, and an inventory system, second to none. These wide –ranging feature set comes at a higher price than the other tiers, but considering what you get for the price (being able to use a license on up to two machines) the cost of $199.00 USD is a great buy!

logo_800px-blackIf you have ever had the pleasure to interact with Incomedia, whether as a customer, a potential customer, or someone who has some questions to make a decision or solve an issue, you know they stand behind what they publish/sell. This should give you peace of mind, in deciding to either upgrade to the new version/tier or become a new customer for the first time. Whatever you choose, I can tell you that you will never be disappointed that you considered Incomedia, and their products. As always keep on techin’. . .

Dragon Blogger PS4 Pro & Goodie Bag Giveaway

Dragon Blogger Technology and Entertainment has partnered with Togoo TechJaypee Online, Kworld and Hamswan to bring you a PlayStation 4 Pro Giveaway which includes an accessory pack including Kworld Gaming Earbuds and the Hamswan 2.4 GHz Wireless Gaming Headset.


One winner will receive the PlayStation 4 PRO with 1TB hard drive and this is the newer PlayStation 4 Pro that releases on November 10th 2016, not the original PS4.  This PS4 PRO has a more powerful GPU as well as faster GDDR RAM and is better able to support PlayStation VR games if you add a PlayStation VR later.  This giveaway is open internationally with some conditions so see the official rules on the Dragon Blogger Giveaway page for more information on International rules for the giveaway.

Enter Now For Your Chance to Win a PlayStation 4 PRO

PlayStation 4 Pro and Goodie Pack Giveaway

Product Review: Steganos Privacy Suite 18 In-Depth

Product Review: Steganos Privacy Suite 18 In-Depth

A constant theme and topic of discussion is the arena of Internet security, and its impact and reach in 21st. Century society. Ever since the dawning of this new century, and the advent of global terrorism attacks, the question of intelligence gathering has become the forefront focal point law enforcement, and the importance it plays in prevention of such vile attacks. While it is a vital component to investigation techniques to gather electronic intelligence, the risk/reward balance of intruding on innocent citizens and foreign nationals means that personal vigilance and self-policing should be the correct approach to this problem. As we wrestle with the best ways to navigate through this ethical maze, each of us must undertake a sense of personal vigilance and vanguard to safeguard our personal information and vital identity documents, for ourselves.

A recent changing of the guard has occurred, as the control of the U.S. Internet DNS registry passed from the Federal government to the ICANN organization (a multi-national organization that works across borders, companies, and governments, to establish web standards, DNS indices, and support WC3 committee); a twenty year process that was just completed last week. While uses of the web will see little, surface changes in their day-to-day life; having a decentralized governing body might make a more fluid level of privacy oversight and protection. Such developments make it a greater concern that one must “mind there, own store,” and keep prying eyes and ears away from your sensitive data. What is something that you can do to accomplish this task, you may ask. The answers can be found in the pages of this blog, and this fine article.

Various tools and apps I have brought forward to you, my readers, over the last, few years, have been in this vein of personal Internet security, and today, I have another fine addition to bring your attention, Steganos Privacy Suite 18. This multitasking suite allows its users to cover their various “digital fingerprints/footprints” in nine tools; each with its focus on how your information interfaces with the wider world, and the global Internet. Each application contained inside of the main program has such specialized usage and systematic layouts that you should find it easy in getting this program configured with minimal effort. Each tool will make sure that what you share on the web is safe, acceptable, and only what you want to share, and not what Big Brother may want you to share online.


Confidentiality is a rare commodity in these digitally-pervasive times; where the personal, intimate details of a person’s life, property, financial, and occupational records can be raided with easy aplomb. Numerous data hacks, leaks, and DDoS attacks have laid bare individuals and celebrities’ information that has led to identify theft, public shaming/embarrassment, and cost people millions, if not billions of dollars in losses.  What can a person do to protect themselves from such risks? The answer, as you probably guessed from my articles and many other’s is a multi-faceted approach to personal Internet security.


A piece of the puzzle is the use of a secured data storage area. Having a dedicated area, walled off from general access makes the contents difficult to hack into or access, remotely without express permission. It also has the added benefit of keeping people from snooping on your private data, at the local level, too.  The ease of use that Steganos Privacy Suite 18 provides is very intuitive and easy to establish. All you have to do is choose a location, size, and once generated, set a password to lock/unlock the area, and began to transfer/use the area for sensitive data/information. I cannot stress how important it should be for you to utilize such a storage solution if you want a nice peace of mind, and knowledge that what you put inside this region of your system is secure.

Having a dedicated space for locking down your files is an important step, but that alone is not sufficient to occlude your vital information from nefarious entities. You must also take additional steps, one which includes cryptography of individual files. Steganos has you covered in this area, as well. Their Privacy Suite 18 has a module, called Crypt & Hide, that allows you to add files/folders, and text into a secured, password-protected file. In doing so, you can restrict access to its contents from parties that you do not want to get their hands on it. The uses of such a security measure can be utilized alone and/or in conjunction with other encryption-level applications and certificate exchange services (e.g. OpenPGP).


As recent news and technology has shown us, on a global scale, being able to encode our files in a secure container format and transmit them across the web, via e-mail, cloud storage, or CDN site hosting; in a manner that cannot be easily eavesdropped on or waylaid in route. Only be encrypting your files, can you add the technological protections needed to maintain a sense of privacy and autonomy. Sending/storing the file unencrypted is just asking for trouble, so do not make that mistake, and use the Crypt & Hide module from Steganos Privacy Suite 18.


I could elaborate on the several, other modules, but from what you have already seen, I am sure that you will agree that what this security suite has to offer is more than the price of admission. The cost of this fine program is $59.99 USD, and they offer a free 30-day trial, so you can test out the program, and see if it meets your needs. This fine company stands behind what they produce and sell, so you know that your satisfaction will be attended to by these professionals. I know that once you try this great, spectrum-spanning array of security tools, you will only say one thing, “I will take it!”Until next time, keep on techin’. . .

Disconnect VPN – Privacy Pro 1.13 In-Depth Review:

Disconnect VPN – Privacy Pro 1.13 In-Depth Review:

My readership knows how much I treasure privacy and security, with growing concerns that gain strength, with more revelations that governments, corporations, and hacktivist groups are tracking our movements, week after week. This occurs many times, without our express, implicit, permission or legal presidents that justify such surveillance. I highlight companies that help the honest citizen, fight back against such invasive and overreaching practices. One such company that is fighting the good fight is Disconnect, a heralded Virtual Private Network Provider (VPN).


For those of my readership, who have nominal knowledge and experience with VPN services, I can assure you the process is very hassle-free with Disconnect, and their service platforms (extensions, plugins, apps, etc.). The instructions are very straightforward and require basic software operation skills for PC, tablets, and smartphones. The value proposition inherent in using a service like this is weighed carefully, and once you see the benefits, I am sure that you will find the price point a solid bargain.

disconnect_logoOne, key way of analyzing how this might be helpful to you, and worth the cost can be seen in the gains that you make in data consumption. In looking at the benefits of having ads, tracking protocols, and other data-gobbling data filtered out of your connection, (via VPN) will not only give you peace of mind, but also better speed utilization and greater privacy that using a direct connection to the web. In prior articles that I have written, along with a cacophony of other tech insiders, who have documented and well cited the fact that every piece of data that comes in the down-link can both eat up any caps on monthly transmission limits, but also clog the storage and memory usage of the receiving devices. This is particularly true of mobile smart devices and hotspots, as most provides give you limited and/or throttled data thresholds/month; such devices also have limited storage/memory capacity (usually stated in GB’s).


On top of this nuisance/menace potentiality, malware has become a greater threat, as the “black hats” have undertaken making phishing/impostors apps that mimic and steal vital information from unsuspecting customers. One way that such nefarious programs get onto devices is through bogus websites/tracking telemetry. With Disconnect protecting you web-enabled computers and mobile devices, this risk is greatly decreased and said sources will have a more difficult time getting to your identity and personal information. With breaches at some of the largest tech companies in the world, where people’s info was stolen with legitimate apps, it is vitally important to make sure the bogus one’s do not get through.

disconnect_scree_capture01 Another excellent benefit of having a VPN is the ability to circumvent Geo-fencing, or the practice of restricting Internet access, based on your location. While in the nation of the United States of America (where I live), we still have a U.S. Constitutional First Amendment that guarantees us freedom of speech, but in many parts of the world, that is not the case. Having access to a VPN allows the user’s of that network service the anonymity to get redacted information and share details of the inner workings of oppressive regimes. A secondary benefit of a Geo-fencing masking IP is the ability to set/show your location as another region on the world, to enjoy content is available to that part of the world, alone. This must be done, under the auspices of acceptable terms of use of any web services one may be subscribed to as a member.disconnect_screen_capture_smartphone01

You may be asking what does a comprehensive VPN service cost to use. The answer may surprise you, as the cost has a range of prices to choose from, starting at Free (Basic – Protect One Browser, Block Trackers, and Search Privately), $40.00 USD (Pro –Block Trackers & Malware across the entire system, with a 44% speed increase in performance, 39% less bandwidth consumption, and longer battery life (if applicable), and $50.00 USD/yr.- 3 Devices (Premium – Pro privacy and performance, secure WI-FI, and full location masking with the VPN). In addition to these levels of coverage, they have a one-time purchase that offers a VPN module for iOS, called Privacy Pro. The cost of this app is $29.99 USD, and grants the user of an iDevice a nice amount of privacy protection and tracking protection, via a VPN configuration plugin for the operating system. All together, each of these work well in conjunction with each other and make a fine addition to one’s security protection plan. All in all, this is a nice company and nice products to help keep your life, data, and online activity, private. Tell them I sent you, and keep on techin’!

Ashampoo Office Catalog Extension 1.0 Review

Ashampoo Office Catalog Extension 1.0 Review

As I wrote to you last week, Ashampoo has created a family of CAD programs, which allow you design a wide range of structures that you might have a vested interest in your life. In my various articles, I went over the benefits of having these tools at the disposal of select groups (and tailored to the final application and potential profession of the user). In addition, to the main software programs that I referenced in my prior articles, Ashampoo has added a new plug program to the line-up, called Ashampoo Office Catalog Extension 1.0.


While the office furnishings and design elements present in the main programs are quite nice and offer some versatility and variety, the additional items contained in this add-on are well worth the asking price.

As a disabled individual, I have a high priority in having my electronic equipment in close proximity, and in top-tier working order. In my current residence, I do not have a dedicated office space for myself and my wife, and it impacts our productivity quite a bit. I have lived in quite a few places, but I have been the happiest in my working/hobby life in places where I have had a dedicated space for those tasks. I have not been able to design an ideal office space, up until this point, but I am hopeful that will change in the future. When the opportunity presents itself, I plan on having the necessary ports (HDMI, Display Port, SPDIF, USB, etc.) built into the walls, cabinets, and furnishings to minimize tangling and cable management. Not having to worry about cables being tripped over with my wheelchair or cane, nor the hassle of having to constantly move mine or my wife’s computer equipment to accommodate one another’s projects.scr_ashampoo_office_extension_ml_sideboard

Having a well designed office space can dramatically affect the how quickly and proficiently that you can complete tasks. As a disabled individual, I have specialized seating (wheelchair-accessible), and have the need for wireless keyboard and mouse, that can be placed either in my lap or on a movable/portable table. scr_ashampoo_office_extension_ml_tablesWith this design plug-in, I can have access to a larger pool of design office elements that will allow me to add ergonomic furnishings from the prominent design house, Vital-Office GmbH.

Having these expert design powerhouse included inside of this plug-in, means that if their product line meets or exceeds your design needs, you can layout the items that you need, and transition to ordering them for delivery and placement on the job site/office project. I can say, in watching several home improvement shows, how important it is to not only have a fine design plan, but a nice work-flow and follow-through to make the dream a reality. Having a floor plan and “ideal” elements in your design is fine and good, but when you go to execute the plan if the items you need/want are not available, you have to settle for less than want you have planned. Since Ashampoo has gone to the trouble of arranging the license to use the elements from this esteemed firm, the value proposition for this plug-in only grows.

scr_ashampoo_office_extension_ml_tables2Knowing how much this can expand your capability for design above the base programs, it is well worth the asking price of $14.99 USD. As always, they stand behind the products that they sell. If you, my readers, have any experience with their products, you will not hesitate to purchase this product, and have no regrets. Also keep in mind, this catalog extension does work with the other extension (Kitchen) to expand and round out your options, for design elements, as well as potentially work with future extensions, as they are developed. Bottom line, if you need office ergonomic design elements and have an inclination to create your office with CAD, you need this software. Trust me; you will not regret having this in your toolbox. As always, until next time, keep on techin’ . . .


P.S. If you are interested, Ashampoo has given away their Home Designer 3 for free this week. All you have to do is apply for a license, via e-mail, after you download and install the program. This is a nice way to try out their CAD programs in greater detail, than just a demo version. The program, along with some details can be found at the following link: I hope you check this out, and enjoy this great program for yourself.

Ashampoo 3D CAD Professional 6.60 In-Depth Review:

Ashampoo 3D CAD Professional 6.60 In-Depth Review:

In my last article, I introduced you to the world of Ashampoo 3D CAD Architecture in my last piece. In that article, I shared with you how this family of tools comes in various forms and tiers, which are aimed at distinct types of construction projects and audiences. The first programs that reviewed covered the home, its fixtures, and some light commercial applications. For people who want to branch out of these types of projects, they have a top-tier program that not covers these uses, but almost any type of project that can be visualized or contemplated, including industrial sites and buildings. This fine program is called Ashampoo 3D CAD Professional 6.


While I have never been an architect or industrial designer, by profession, I did take some of those classes in college. My experiences taught me that these structures have to adhere to stringent requirements in regards to accessibility, energy usage, “flow,” ambient lighting, parking, function, and rigid federal, state, and local ordinances and regulations, among other constraints. This is so much more the case than private residential requirements.

I also had the experience and privilege of studying in an industrial arts building, during my collegiate career, where I learned to photography and develop orthochromatic (black and white) film for paste-up graphic design work. The fascinating structural design that is worth mentioning is that the darkroom was a walk-in camera. Inside of the room were the developing pans, aperture, and a vacuum-assisted film door, that held the film to be exposed to light for each, separate element to be photographed for optical composing. I can only image what must have gone into the designs and laying out the plans for the building, and in particular that camera room.


In the days that the structure on the campus was built, they had to rely on manual and mechanical techniques (drafting, blue-line/blueprint drawings, optical compositing, etc.), rather than CAD (computer-aided design) methodology. If they had at their disposal the power, versatility, and materials, and plugins that Ashampoo offers in their flagship program, 3D CAD Professional 6, I can only imaging the solutions that they could have come up with for the construction. This is not to knock or denigrate the engineers or architects, who have worked on such projects with older methods, as the one I have highlighted, but rather to show that speed increases, materials testing/cost estimation, could be used to save money, and expedite the timetables for project completion.


You may be asking yourself, with such power, versatility, and expansive capabilities, why I would go to the expense of selecting this level of program. The answer is multi-fold, and can be broken down in some key areas. Before I explain further, let me reassure you that this program can be for multiple skill levels, so keep that in mind, as I elaborate on my points.

First all, this program is quite capable and useful in a myriad ways. Its inherent versatility can be liked to Adobe Photoshop, in that you can use it in numerous projects, and at various levels. While cost is a factor (not unlike how Adobe has Photoshop Elements to give people access to some key features, at a reduced price), the entry-tier and mid-tier versions of Ashampoo’s products, can offer some features that you want to sample and test the waters, at a lower cost. However, the different costs associated with the full-featured, “expert” programs are worth the expense. These programs will allow any user to grow and expand with the programs, in tandem with their requisite skill level, and 3D CAD Profession 6 fits this bill, perfectly.


The cost of this program is $379.99 USD, and that cost might give one pause, but keep in mind that is a good value proposition. I have seen many design programs that cost much more than this, and do not do as much, feature-wise. Safe to say, you get what you pay for, and software is no exception. Design software is a fairly costly category of programs, so some cost is expected to occur with these programs, but Ashampoo has done their best to minimize these issues, offering the program in each version that I have reviewed, so their customers only need to buy what they actually need.logo_w10_comp_blue

I know that once you try any of these versions of the 3D CAD program that I shared with you, the last few months; my readers will jump at the chance to get these programs at these fine rates. They do offer demo’s of their programs for you to try, so you can be sure you are getting what you want. Tell them I sent you, and keep on techin’ . . .

Ashampoo 3D CAD Architecture 6.60 In-Depth Review

Ashampoo 3D CAD Architecture 6.60 In-Depth Review

I did an article a short while back, that highlighted the benefits of basic home design software for residential and/or kitchen layouts. Now those fine folks at Ashampoo have released a more full-featured design family. These newer, two levels of software comprise the various applications and approaches, from more advanced home and landscape projects to commercial buildings and solar panel photo-voltaic arrays. Both of these programs can create mutually-accessible files and materials, which can work inter-operator-ability between the programs, and their associated plugins. This works well, in conjunction with the needs of specialized office spaces, kitchens, and universally-accessible structures, which these programs provide for the novice and professional alike.


The middle-tier, focused program that is inclusive of every major instance of residential and light commercial application, and designed with this in mind is Ashampoo’s 3D CAD Architecture 6. This is an excellent stepping stone from just changing one or two rooms, into a full-fledged home remodel and landscape/hardscape overhaul. If you have ever wondered what would be involved, in terms of material, labor, energy usage,   and general construction planning, this tool has you covered.

Not unlike their Home Designer 3 program, this software allows you to not only layout designs in 2D and 3D formats (blueprints/plans, renderings, accessories), but it has the capability to specify electric grid components/circuitry, and see the utilization in potential action. These calculations can even help you determine the effectiveness of how the solar exposure will impact your energy generation and the offset of the home’s usage, with a photo-voltaic system. This is a very important feature that is only gaining steam, as various municipalities are requiring further self-sustaining “green” energy plans for new and/or remodel construction, requiring clean energy generation and reduced power usage. In addition, implementation of these systems can also qualify the property owner for subsidies and rebates to offset the cost, installation, and operation of “green” energy systems.


As someone, who lives in a very hot climate in Northern California, USA, I wish I had a home/residence that had such a system in place, along with a geothermal system that would function as an alternate HVAC system. It is my dream someday to live in such a structure. This would augment the added energy usage that I require for my durable medical equipment, and allow me to have extra cooling that might lessen my systems, too.

The feature set of this program does support designs that would fall into the category of light commercial. A good example is my wife’s home-based business. She is a professional illustrator (10 years+), and is in the process of branching out into becoming an author of children’s books. She has used spare bedrooms or dining room tables for her work. However, I could use this program to create her a dedicated art studio, which would incorporate a static place for her to set up to paint (easel, palettes, brushes, paper/canvas, etc.), as well as having dedicated built-ins for reference books, maquettes/models, and her computer equipment. One could make sure that electrical outlets, cable connections (HDMI, TOSLINK/Optical, USB, Display Port, etc.) are at the proper heights and in the correct number. Also natural and artificial light must be incorporated and managed to great effect. This is just one application of this program’s power; there are many others.


While my disability and my limited mobility affect my ability to do outside work, I would love to have a nice, custom landscape, that would be very wheelchair accessible and friendly access to an outdoor grill and cooking work area. Ashampoo comes to the rescue in this regard, as well, as it allows you to have great flexibility in laying out your landscape plan. You can pick out your materials, colors, plant varieties, and appliances that you want included, and have the program walk you through the steps needed, until you have the patio you have always dreamed of your whole life.


These are but a few examples, as the limits of what you can do for your home and light commercial projects with Ashampoo 3D CAD Architecture. Such capability in a compact program, it must come with a steep price right? The answer is a nice no. You can have this power at your fingertips for $99.99 USD. If you need more added templates and features, you can add on the Kitchen and Office Catalog Extensions for $14.99 USD, apiece. Basically, for less than $150.00 USD you can have an extension CAD program that will design any home, home office, simple storefront or garden structure that you might need.


To top it all off, Ashampoo has great customer support, with prompt service, and fast, courteous replies and solutions to all of your needs and questions. While I have never had the need (nor suspect that I will or you will, for that matter), you can always ask for a refund if you are not satisfied; they stand behind what they sell. After all, I know that once you try out this fine program (one of many, many programs they make), you will find that it not only meets your needs, but exceeds them quite nicely. If you think you might need even more designing muscles, and then tune in next time, as I will share with you their top-of-the-line CAD program for all manner of construction/design projects, Ashampoo 3D CAD Professional 6. Until next time, keep on techin’. . .

Ashampoo Kitchen Catalog Extension 1.0 In-Depth Review

Ashampoo Kitchen Catalog Extension 1.0 In-Depth Review

As I wrote to you last week, Ashampoo has created a suite of programs that allow you design your own residence or office, business, or many, other structures that you might need to have in your life. In my initial article, I went over the benefits of having these tools at the disposal of the masses, particularly if you are disabled and need customized adaptations and modifications that are not included in many basic floor-plans.


In addition, to the base software that I referenced in my prior article, Ashampoo Home Designer Pro 3, the companion program/plug-in, called Ashampoo Kitchen Catalog Extension 1.0, from those same fine folks adds specialized cabinets, appliances, flooring, and other implements needed for 21st. Century homes and offices. While the detail designs in the base program offer many choices, the abundance afforded the final recipient of the built structure will greatly appreciate.


For many, many years, the central room and “town square” of the home has been the kitchen. Since the days of families gathered around mom or the cook, making three meals a day, from scratch, interacting between the parents and children, between the kids themselves, and sometimes the extended family or neighbors, the most time spent in the home was in the kitchen.


Fast forward to today, when people are in/out of the home, in their own worlds, on phones, tablets, game consoles, with minimal cross-interaction between members of the household; irrespective of this fact, what time spent in the home, with people talking, sharing, or having a common experience, it most likely will be in the kitchen, with the second choice being in the living room/den. Such emphasis can only be necessary if this room is important, inherently, as it, due to its generational significance and the exchange of information that spans the years.


Knowing this has been a cyclic constant from way back, having the tools that allow us to cater the layout, appliances, and storage, traffic flow, etc., is a freedom that the disabled have needed, but has eluded them. In being in a wheelchair, crutches, walkers, power chair, getting around your home or a place of business can be a daunting task. In 1990, in the USA, a law was passed called the American Disabilities Act (ADA), which mandated that government and commercial buildings, going forward would have to be more disabled-accessible, plus some modifications and retrofits for previous construction, would be rolled out over the years, going forward.  I am sad to report that while this law was a great step forward, the law should have included residential construction, as anyone, at any age, and at any time can become disabled, and having to retrofit or rebuild a home is daunting and very costly.


Many people have a basic knowledge of this fact, but when they are able to save up and buy a home or permanent residence, they are disenfranchised in having affordable resources to have “universal access-based” construction planning. Companies, such as Ashampoo and their product families have filled in this gap, and allowed us to have these, previously non-affordable resources made available to us, at a fair price point.  The programs, such as Ashampoo Home Designer Pro 3 and Kitchen Catalog Extension 1.0 are shining examples of these tools, and I am happy to introduce you to them.


In saying all of the important factors that this tool offers, the cost of Kitchen Catalog Extension 1.0 is very reasonable at only $14.99 USD, which is quite a steal. If you factor in the cost of the main program, Home Designer Pro 3, at $49.99 USD, you can have the full suite of tools to make your home and kitchen your own, in design, for under $100.00 USD; cannot beat that easily. No matter what you need in your home, office, and/or other building; Ashampoo will fit the bill for what you need. Until next time, keep on techin’. . . !