Month: March 2016

Incomedia WebSite X5 Evolution 12 Review

Incomedia WebSite X5 Evolution 12 Review

As a blogger, with my own column, I can attest how important it is to have a professional image/layout for you site. I have been lucky, in my transition from Tumblr to WordPress; I was able to find a free theme to meet my needs, though many are not. One issue with free themes for many people is lack of unique identity, and the ability to keep them working with changes to the WordPress’ platform. Another issue is that many free themes also can have nefarious links to malware and cyber security dangers. That aside, free templates for general website creation have similar problems, and are not nearly adaptable for various industries and sectors, as their paid alternatives.

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Fortunately, the fine firm of Incomedia, and their flagship website suite, WebSite X5 Evolution 12 eliminates these hurdles, and eradicates any limitations that you might put on your site design. Utilizing a systematic (step-by-step) approach that walks you through each phase of site creation, you can both real-time preview each change, and see what your site needs next. If you are unsure of how you should layout your site, WebSite X5 has countless pre-formatted templates and stock images, to get your started. As each step is completed, you can then plan to either publish to your site host or locally, so you can then take the completed site into another web editor or program.

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Once you start up the program, you are presented to a window, which allows you both login/setup your web membership account, as well as browse the promoted templates and galley items that are available for free or for purchase, with credits (which can be purchased online, directly from Incomedia in bulk packs). You can also check on updates and the answer data-bank/FAQ updates that address various issues in the WebSite X5 community. This is also the wizard/systematic creation module start point.

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To create your site, just follow the instructions, outlined in each step, and add in the required information, such as you URL, site name, site icon (favicon), and so forth. Each level of creation has clear, concise help and built-in tools that make the process intuitive and much easier than in years prior. I know that making a website, from years ago, required a lot of HTML/CSS/PHP coding, and put the power of site creation in the hands of the programmers, versus the artists. Now, with a program, such as WebSite X5 Evolution, you can focus on how you want your site to look, the pages to include, and the features you need, and let the software handle the hard coding for you. Do not fret, though, if you want to do coding or modification of the code placed by the software, you can easily take charge of this task.

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I do have a background in graphic design (as some of you know), by my training and emphasis is the print media realm. As I was graduating from college, I took a web design class, where I used Adobe GoLive (a program that I believe has been discontinued) and Photoshop together to make a site. This was my only site creation tools that I had used, and we did not get taught any HTML or coding skills at all, as we were told that we would hand off those tasks to a dedicated web programmer. Fast forward to now (ten plus years later), and my web creation skills still depend on GUI wizards and templates for my online output. Thankfully, these have gotten me by, but now with the expansive tools, provided by Incomedia and WebSite X5, I can broaden my horizons and expand what I can do, now. This will be true of you, as well; as I know that you can take these tools and make them your own, too!

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One thing I want to highlight is that WebSite X5 does support e-commerce and online stores. Being disabled and doing this as a hobby, I do not need an online storefront, but my wife does have a home-based, e-business, that does need these features. She sells her artwork online, and she wants to do so, directly to her customers. With this suite, she can now design her own shopping cart, and collect payment from her patrons. This software supports payment processing from major players, such as PayPal and the major credit cards vendors/issuers. Such payment methods are how she deals with customers all around the world, so being able to integrate their widgets into any site layout she chooses is a welcome and important boost.

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One, last area that should be highlighted is a bundled web hosting package, included with a licensed copy. For right now, if you purchase this software, you get included one year of web hosting from several, select providers. It does you no good if you design a great site, and have nowhere to put it or a way to list it for public consumption. If you have ever shopped for a web host, the pricing tiers can be quite varied and include much trade-offs. Also, many web hosting packages do not include your DNS registration fees, as those are extra costs. Said included DNS registry is a benefit of the one year’s hosting included this service; a nice inclusion for potential savings.

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I could drone on more about the potential benefits of this program, but the program speaks for itself. If you would like more information or more details, check out this YouTube video that goes into great detail, on how a site can come together. This software comes in three versions: Home – $19.99 USD, Evolution – $75.00, and Professional – $199.99 USD. Each tier allows for various feature sets, focusing on personal website creation, commercial, and advanced commercial website creation, respectfully. Whatever version you purchase, you can upgrade to the other tiers for a reduced price. I know whichever version you choose, you will be very happy with your purchase, and will be hard pressed to find a better value for the money. Keep making your websites, and I look forward to seeing what you make. As always, until next time . . .

MovieManager 3.3 Pro Review

MovieManager 3.3 Pro Review

Anyone who reads my blog, with any regularity, will know of my fever pitch love of cinema. I have an extensive collection of movies and television series (many which I inherited from my late parents), and I need to keep accurate count of what I own. I have tried several products, and I am always trying to find alternatives (for you, my readership), which gives you more choices to pick from the field.

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Recently, I discovered a new player in the film catalog software front, coming from RockSolidSoftware, titled simply, MovieManager Pro. This program allows you to cross-link your movies/discs, by several categories, including movie, series, episode, and parent-child, etc. These breakdowns allow you to not only add films, by these criteria, but you can also see which actors appear in each entertainment product in your collection. The menu structure is very reminiscent of a standard Microsoft Windows Visual Basic window, so it usage is very intuitive to any user, so you can jump in, and start logging your films, right away.

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As someone, who has a sizable collection, I have always has difficulty in tracking my television series episodes, across discs, box-sets, and digital video files. In other catalog software, I have to add each individual season, rather than an umbrella listing, that nests each season underneath the main listing. In having to do this multi-listing, rather than a single entry, it creates excessive entries that can balloon the database size. Large drive sizes make this a moot point, but it does slow down the indexing/searching of your collection.

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If you do not like to manually add the entry details, you can just place the title (and season, if applicable), and download the details, via the IMDB website or from one of their referrer code. This is vastly quicker than to have to manually type out the details and summaries for yourself. If you cannot find the info for a title from mainstream sources, being able like more eccentric titles (maybe out-of-print, obscure documentaries), finding a website that lays out the particulars, and can be parsed into the database software is a sweet time-saver. Many of a time I have had to create artwork, and sorting details, manually, and found myself frustrated and tired, so knowing that MovieManager Pro can take over the task is a breath of fresh air.

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If you have movie/video files stored on your hard drive, you can save/import those files into the software, and create a collection database, with playback capability. I have quite a few digital movies and TV show episodes on my computer, and not having to track down the discs they came on for the particulars, nor their artwork, is very nice. I want to keep track of my digital films and shows, in addition to my physical copies in one database, so I can have an at a glance look of my entire holdings. That way I do not double down, needlessly, on my purchases, and can spread my limited dollars in my media purchases. This is a feature that will only grow, as things move more into the digital realm; as such a feature that you will want to have available to you, too.

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I could drone on as to why you want to get the full version of MovieManager Pro, but you will be very hard pressed to find a better program that does all of this for $9.95 USD. At this juncture, the Pro version includes lifetime updates for this price, so I would take advantage of this now, lest it changes later. Also your purchase of this software will give your priority support, with prompt follow-ups, via e-mail. I can attest to the fact that I have had some technical problems, and they have gotten back with me, ASAP. Try out the MovieManager Pro program, and I know that you will add this tool to your media collection management tool-set. Talk to you soon . . .

Save2PC Review

Consumption of media has dramatically changed, in the last twenty years. We have gone from watching television on cable, antenna or satellite, to watching a cacophony of genres, including music videos, television programs, to the latest movies released, online. The bulk of media consumed is found through streaming of content on the Internet, from sites like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and the major networks, plus social media shares. While having these channels ready for us, whenever we want to watch (some with subscriptions), and the downside is that we need to be actively connected to the web. Many people do not have high-speed internet access or sizable data plans for mobile devices, so always only being able to stream is not very viable. This problem has been weighed over the years, and some less than great solutions have been proposed and tried. Some of these have been by using a website downloader link/conversion URL, with middling results.

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Today, a new player that is rising in the field is from FDRLab, called Save2PC, which comes in multiple versions. This program allows you save streamed audio/video programs to your computer, so you can play it back locally. You can simply copy the link to the stream in the program window, and begin to download the file to your system storage. You can save the downloaded file in a number of formats (.flv, .avi, .mpeg, .mov, .mp4, etc.), dependent on the program version, and the original file format that was posted or uploaded to the site. One thing that I want to stress to my readership (yet again) is the “time-shifting” of recording, copyrighted materials is only permitted/dependent on the region of the world, in which you reside, and within the Terms of Service of the sites you may use. This “time-shifted” recording is very narrowly defined, under the very murky “grey” area of fair use/fair dealings, so use it at your own risk.

Now that we have that out of the way, if where you live, you can do this, legally; this will allow you to take these media files with you, wherever you go. I can image that if you want to watch a game play video or movie trailer, on your portable media device, you can download it, and then show your friends. Now you can watch your web-based media files, without the need for an internet connection. I can see that this does, indeed, open up the possibilities for you media, untethered from the web.

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I feel that being able to dub/record off streaming services might grow, as the distribution of media moves more way from physical media, as the years go by. The biggest question is that will these outlets integrate these saving/recording features or will they leave this open to other software providers, such as FDRLab and their Save2PC program? As these shaking questions remain to be answered, you can turn to Save2PC to cover your needs.

You may be asking, which version is right for me? The answer lies in which formats you need for saving/recording files, and which sites you may want to download from. They have a comparison chart, which highlights the difference between each version. Also, the max quality recording settings can be affected by the version you purchase. The pricing tiers are as follows: Standard – $29.99 USD, Professional -$39.99 USD, and Ultimate – $49.99 USD. If you want the maximum features and widest format support, I recommend the Ultimate version. If you elect the lower tiers, you can upgrade to the higher versions, for additional fees. Currently, the upgrade costs are an additional fourteen dollars, per level (Standard to Professional+$14.00 USD, then Professional to Ultimate+$14.00 USD, additionally). As anything, these prices are apt to change, so I would upgrade before they go up. Whatever you choose, I know that you will like this nice, little program. Give this a whirl, via the Save2PC Light version, which functions as a limited-feature trial, and I am sure that you will like what you see. See you next time . . .

Password Boss Review:

Password Boss Review:

In today’s world, online security is a paramount concern. As more and more of our lives move online, keeping our identities away from prying eyes and grifter thieves, means we need to make very secure passwords.  This is further complicated by needing to make unique and diversified passwords that are only used at one location/site. I know that having a different password for one shopping site, a different login credentials for another, is so hard to keep track of, in my mind. It is so easy to fall back on familiar number patterns, birthdates, names, and places, but in doing so, it makes it very easy to decipher these details, and thus steal your identity. Prior solutions have been proposed, including browsers that store these passwords inside themselves, biometric security, including fingerprint readers, and even some early online password depositories; each with their own benefits and drawbacks. What I have found is that in relying on these methods is very inconsistent, as many devices do not have biometric readers, or access to the saved passwords, between devices. In addition, risking dependence on the security protocols of browsers to safely save and use your password data is just asking for trouble. What can you do to solve this quandary, and have the wide access you need to achieve? The answer is found in the password generator/depository program called Password Boss.

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This fine piece of software allows you both create unique, one-off passwords, and then store them in a database; ready for quick login/retrieval. This program is a combination of both a web account, and a software platform, installed on either a computer or mobile device. The program runs in the background, allowing you save your payment information and online shopping information, behind a strong, encrypted “digital wallet,” along with whatever passwords/logins that you may have created. If you need to create new, unique passwords to replace your old repeated passwords or make new login credentials, this excellent piece of software has a password generator, which will meet any parameters needed. You can determine what random characters and symbols are contained in the passwords, including special characters, so if you need a certain combination, it will make them flawlessly. In addition, you can safely store your personal information (names, phone numbers, addresses, and even Social Security numbers) behind such encrypted security, to aid in anti-identity protection.

These features are available for no charge, and are a nice alternative to having to rely on the security inside of modern browsers or one’s own memory. However, if you need stronger, bank-grade security, the ability to sync your secured data between devices, sharing login credentials between friends/family, and priority support, they have an annual subscription of $29.99 USD/year, called Password Boss Premium. Not unlike most premium anti-virus and internet security suites, subscriptions such as this are worth the cost/investment, as they give piece of mind, great support, and knowing that being able to conduct business and legal matters online, in a way that deters thieves and criminals to not to be underestimated. I do want to highlight that the folks at Password Boss pay it forward. If you are a member of an educational institution, non-profit charities, and religious institution, they have complementary licenses for the premium features. They feel that these organizations are doing the greater good, and do not need to worry about everyday security matters, such as these.

I could drone on, in regards to the nuanced features that Password Boss offers, on both the free and subscription models, but the best way to find out of this for you is to try it out, for yourself. They do offer a trial of the Premium version that you can try out, above the basic free features. Just try it out, and I am sure that you will want to use this fine platform. They have mentioned, that you my fine readers, might be able to win a 1-year Premium License Subscription. Stay tuned for details, and they become available. Until next time, folks . . .